California secretly struggles with renewables

California has hooked up a grid battery system that is almost ten times bigger than the previous world record holder, but when it comes to making renewables reliable it is so small it might as well not exist. The new battery array is rated at a storage capacity of 1,200 megawatt hours (MWh); easily eclipsing the record holding 129 MWh Australian system built by Tesla a few years ago. However, California peaks at a whopping 42,000 MW. If that happened on a hot, low wind night this supposedly big battery would keep the lights on for just 1.7 minutes (that's 103 [...]

By |2021-01-16T11:35:39-05:00January 16th, 2021|Economy|Comments Off on California secretly struggles with renewables

Scientists develop earth-friendly process to recycle lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have their pluses. Their energy density is typically twice that of the tradition nickel-cadmium ones. They are low maintenance. And their discharge is less than half compared to regular batteries. Despite these advantages, however, they do have some environmental drawbacks. One is the fact that they use rare-earth metals like cobalt and nickel – metals that are not only expensive, but are often mined in developing countries with minimal environmental standards. For this reason, a number of firms have been transitioning over to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Not only don’t LFP’s not rely on rare-earths, but they also [...]

By , |2020-11-19T09:23:00-05:00November 22nd, 2020|Energy|Comments Off on Scientists develop earth-friendly process to recycle lithium-ion batteries