Why isn't electricity cheaper?


#1036

Long shot new battery technology on a chip – printed onto a silicon wafer, 36 million at a time. Claims to solve the dendrite problem during recharging, and to double/triple current Li-ion energy density (1400 Wh/l and 405 Wh/kg).

Current technologies:

Explainer vid:

Article:
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/startup-aims-to-tackle-grid-storage-problem-with-serverracksized-battery

White paper:
https://xnrgi.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/XNRGI-Consumer-White-Paper.pdf


#1037

Tokamak Energy issued an update last week: they’ve hit a peak magnetic field of more than 24 Tesla using high temperature superconductors. And they’ve done it a year ahead of schedule (although that was a revised schedule, so it’s not as brilliant as it sounds). Announcement vid and article:

https://www.tokamakenergy.co.uk/tokamak-energy-exceeds-target-of-20-tesla-with-hts-magnets/

Meanwhile in separate news, the UK government announced a new program for fusion research based on spherical tokamaks. This is the latest evolution of JET, the research facility operating at Culham since the 1980s. It will work on some of the technology needed for ITER (and any other magnetic confinement fusion device) such as the diverter needed to get energy out of a fusion reactor once you’ve made it.

In the US, ARPA is also still committed to fusion research and held a conference last month to determine how it could best be supported:

https://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=workshop/enabling-timely-and-commercially-viable-fusion-energy