Next-generation batteries could end energy poverty

Next-generation batteries could end energy povertySolar and wind power capacity have been growing at double-digit rates, but the sun sets, and the wind can be capricious. Although every year wind farms get larger and solar cells get more efficient, thanks to advances in materials such as perovskites, these renewable sources of energy still satisfy less than five percent (<3.7% in 2013, according to the IEA) of global electricity demand.

In many places, renewables are relegated to niche roles because of the lack of an affordable, reliable technology to store the excess energy that they make when conditions are ideal and to release the power onto the grid as demand picks up. Better batteries could solve this problem, enabling emissions-free renewables to grow even faster—and making it easier to bring reliable electricity to the 1.2 billion people who currently live without it.
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