Supervolcanoes could be the key to our battery-powered future

In order to rely on renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, the world is going to have to find efficient ways to store electricity, saving it up for times when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.

One of the leading contenders for large-scale storage at the moment is the lithium ion battery. Elon Musk has promised to build a 100MW batteryin Australia, and energy company AES is constructing a facility of the same size in LA.

Currently, most of the lithium used in these batteries comes from Australia and Chile. But the lithium supply needed to provide large-scale battery storage could come from an unexpected place, according to a new study. Supervolcanoes

Read more in WIRED

Solar power explained: How do solar panels work?

Life on Earth could not survive without the sun. It provides light and heat, the seasons and the day and night cycle necessary for life to have evolved. Today, we’re exploiting the energy from the sun to power our lives and experts say one day, this source of energy may be all we need. But, behind the headlines what exactly is solar power and how do we harness it?

What is solar power?

There are two main types of solar energy: photovoltaics and concentrated solar power (CSP), also known as concentrated solar thermal.

Read more on Alphr

Google is now setting its sights on nuclear fusion

Google has teamed up with nuclear fusion experts to develop an algorithm for solving complex energy problems.

Working with Tri Alpha Energy, which calls itself “the world’s largest private fusion company”, and its giant ionised plasma machine C2-U, Google has built an algorithm designed to speed up experiments in plasma physics. Tri Alpha Energy’s ultimate aim is to build the first fusion-based commercial power plant and the faster they can complete experiments, the faster and cheaper they can achieve this goal and move the world towards a more sustainable, clean energy source.

Read more on Alphr

This futuristic battery is powered by nitrogen

Despite various breakthroughs in battery technology, we still rely on tried-and-tested Li-ion, mainly because it’s cheap. In the hunt for an alternative that won’t break the bank, is more environmentally friendly and sustainable, researchers from China have discovered a way to generate power from nitrogen gas – one the most abundant gases in the world.

Nitrogen makes up almost 80 per cent of our atmosphere but nitrogen gas, which consists of two nitrogen atoms held together by a strong triple covalent bond, doesn’t break up easily under normal conditions. This makes it difficult to transfer the chemical energy of the bond into electricity.

Read more on WIRED

Bottling Britain’s wind energy

To go green, the UK will need to make the most of wind power. Teams of engineers are racing to do just that

WE’VE got six years. By 2020, 20 per cent of the UK’s energy should come from renewable sources, to meet the terms of a European Union agreement. It is likely that most of that energy will come from wind, which the UK gets plenty of. The challenge is working out how best to store the power.

Read more on New Scientist

Blog at

Up ↑