EDSA are an interesting company. They are 25 years old, they are privately held and they focus on power analytics. I had an opportunity to have EDSA’s CTO, Kevin Meagher, on the show so I jumped at it to find out more about their smart grid solutions for micro-grid integration.
Kevin and I had a great chat, we talked about:
Kevin and EDSA’s definition of a Smart Grid
The importance of micro-grids to the smart grid
EDSA’s micro-grid management software and their target customers
The changing face of energy generation with the likelihood of community microgrids coming together to do energy arbitrage
Trends in energy storage systems and
Differences in roll outs of micro-grids in varying geographies and regulations and incentives affecting them
At this event a poll was taken asking which CleanTech issues were perceived as being most important/having the most potential by the investment community – the answers were Energy Efficiency and Energy Storage.
I have seen several posts here on efficiency but none on energy storage so I said I’d start one.
What are the most interesting energy storage solutions people are seeing emerging.
I’ll kick off –
The two most interesting I have seen are
1. Thermal storage using heavily insulated bricks (!) for domestic energy storage (resistive heating) and
2. Metal air batteries – zinc air batteries are scheduled to come to market later this year. Zinc is abundant, cheap, non-toxic, non-explosive and readily recyclable. Zinc air batteries have an energy density about two to three times that of lithium ion batteries.
With that energy density and price point, it should be possible to build utility scale storage (allowing renewables to store excess energy when the wind is blowing strongly, and sell it when the wind drops or demand increases, for example).
Are there any other options people are seeing (and let’s leave pumped hydro out of this discussion – it is old tech, expensive and has significant environmental impacts).
One of the respondents pointed me to news out of Stanford in December that Stanford scientists are harnessing nanotechnology to quickly produce ultra-lightweight, bendable batteries and supercapacitors in from everyday paper!
What other interesting forms of energy storage have you come across?
The United States pledged Thursday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels under an international climate agreement, though it made its commitment contingent on passing legislation at home.
The Department of Energy and IBM are serious about developing lithium air batteries capable of powering a car for 500 miles on a single charge – a five-fold increase over current plug-in batteries that have a range of about 40 to 100 miles, the DOE said.
The agency said 24 million hours of supercomputing time out of a total of 1.6 billion available hours at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories will be used by IBM and a team of researchers from those labs and Vanderbilt University to design new materials required for a lithium air battery. The calculations will be performed at Oak Ridge and Argonne, which house two of the world’s top ten fastest computers, the group said
The European Union officially communicated its target to cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, with an option to raise the offer to 30 per cent if other nations make comparable efforts, the European Commission said on Thursday. The long-forecast pledge, part of EU policy since 2008, had to be confirmed to the United Nations by February 1
Eels were among the first species to recolonize the Thames river after it was cleaned up in the 1960s and 70s. But scientists are sounding an alarm that the populations have crashed over the last five years, and they aren’t sure what the problem is.
Think announced today that it has teamed up with AeroVironment, Inc., a leading developer and supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to demo the company’s level III fast-charge system and the Think City electric-car.
The team held a 15-minute news conference at the 2010 Washington Auto Show where they charged a Think City from 0-80% using AV’s fast-charge system in 15 minutes.
The 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.
Can ethics be quantified? Or, better yet, can a lack of ethics be quantified?
This week, the Swiss research firm Covalence released its annual ranking of the overall ethical performance of multinational corporations. The idea behind the Covalence research is that there’s value — both for companies and consumers — in measuring corporations against an ethical standard.