Solar and wind reach cost-parity with fossil generation in the US

The cost of solar per kWh is surprisingly low, even to someone like me who used to work for a utility and is pretty well informed in the industry. Austin Energy for example has signed a PPA for about 5 cents per kWh - incredibly low, and cheaper than coal and natural gas. While one big problem still remains (renewables are dispatchable), it is amazing that the cost portion is coming down as quickly as it is. Now if we could just have a viable system of energy storage... read more

Is competition a good thing?

In a pretty surprising move, Toyota is opening its patent portfolio related to fuel cell vehicles. This is a bold step by Toyota, and one which could be critical in jump-starting the viable of mass fuel cell cars. Any takers out there? Toyota chose the bully pulpit of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to announce that they are making thousands of patents relating to hydrogen fuel cells available on a royalty-free basis. read more

How safe is your battery?

In our quest to make bigger better batteries we can sometimes forget the important role of safety when it comes to energy storage. The vast majority of people understand the hazards associated with fuels, but batteries are seen as relatively safe. As a society we need to fully understand the processes that go on inside these devices, chemical and physical, before introducing them to the wider world. Safety aspects like this can be extremely damaging to new energy technologies, especially when it involves such a key part of the business supply chain. Will this have catastrophic reverberations within the battery sector? Only time will tell... read more