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SNS: Special Letter: The New Power Game

SNS: Special Letter: The New Power Game


SNS Subscriber Edition
Volume 18, Issue 19
Week of May 18, 2015
In This Issue

Feature: Special Letter: The New Power Game

  • Turning Renewable-Energy Generation into a Baseload Power Source
  • Power vs. Energy in Batteries
  • Making It Happen
  • The Tesla Energy “Powerwall”
  • Lithium Batteries at Grid Scale
  • Alternative Battery Approaches
  • Where to Go from Here
  • About Simon Hackett


Publisher’s Note:  The problem of global warming is directly tied to the issue of moving off fossil fuels and onto alternative energies. This move, in turn, requires a redesign of power grids around the world – a game-changer in which developed countries can either play the lead or, as has happened occasionally with new wireless installations, the follower, vs. emerging nations.

On this issue, however, there are no winners and losers: we all share the planet, and we all lose if we don’t move quickly enough.

Redesigning the grid requires a number of technical and infrastructure changes, but none are more important than removing the supply volatility characteristic of solar and wind installations, the two leading energy supply sources (beyond hydro) being deployed in this battle. The grid needs a new battery system, and the question of what kind, how much, and how fast, if answered properly, will now be key to saving the planet.

Simon Hackett, a longtime SNS member, FiRe speaker, and now a FiReStarter company investor and advisor, is probably the best-known entrepreneur in Australia. As the first owner of a Tesla vehicle (he now has three) in Oz, and as holder of the world’s longest single-charge electric car run, he is well aware of batteries and their limits, and of Tesla’s achievements. In this issue, Simon shares with us his research on how to solve the grid battery challenge, and why flow batteries are the best solution. – mra.

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