The Way We Get Power Is About to Change Forever

The age of batteries is just getting started. In the latest episode of our animated series, Sooner Than You Think, Bloomberg’s Tom Randall does the math on …


  1. What if instead to develop battery technology, we develop the WiFi energy technology?
    If our solar-energy based technology become more efficient and supported by an efficient WiFi energy network around the world, it will last 24hrs all year round.

  2. This sounds amazing. But we still have a long way to go before we achieve that, so don't lay back and relax just yet, in fact now is the time to push for this future even harder.

  3. Battery chemistry has improved over the years to address toxicity, environmental, density, cost, charging, and weight. We've moved from lead based battery to lithium ion, and more recently carbon super capacitor. Carbon super capacitor solves all the listed problems: it is very light, you can store 100kWh weighing only 5lbs, the cost can dramatically be decreased to $1.00 per kWh, the material is recyclable, and the charge/recharge cycles will be in the 10,000's.

  4. Prediction: 20 years from now, half or more of the cars on the road will be EV's with Autonomous Driving…. Battery technology will have decreased the size or increased the power per lb / kg of battery to ridiculous amounts compared to today. What am I basing this on? The past 20 years of advancements in Battery Tech and The Willingness of Governments to Jump on The Bandwagon… I see the whole as on an exponential curve, that by 2028/30 we will see a tipping point, where FF and ICE along with their supporters, are on a financial and resource based slide to the Bottom Extinction along with the Horse by 2050…
    That's not to say we won't have car races or have kids who want to be old fashioned mechanics (have a son and grandson who want to be blacksmiths) but they will be niche markets and occupations, relegated to obscurity for the majority…

  5. Do not forget that there is not enough raw material on the earth to replace everything that runs on oil, coal or gas in the form of batteries. What has happened is a very important drop in the standard of living. This level is directly related to the production of energy. The production of wind and solar panels is extremely polluting and very difficult to recycle. The major problems pollution, climate change, famine, revolts, diseases, overpopulation, energetic rupture, and human greed.

  6. The problem with conventional chemical batteries is the necessity for mining of metals like lithium, which in the long term, would not be a sustainable practice. Waste management of batteries is crucial as well. Really hope to see breakthroughs in graphene batteries.

  7. The US government gives subsidies to clean energy sources so that they are able to run even when it demand for power is low in the day. The best thing that can happen is we store clean energy in batteries then utilize that power during peak demand hours. Nat gas plants could still run at optimal capacity and stored renewable power would help make power cheaper for everyone

  8. In concentrated solar powerplants, they can run molten salt trough the pipes in stead of water, and use a heat exchanger to make steam. When there's too much heat they can pump part of the molten salt to an isolated tank and run that trough the heat exchanger at night: stored solar energy without batteries!

  9. This is mixing up two different situations, electric cars and the electric grid.

    The electric grid needs stationary energy storage like biofuels or pumped hydro.

    Electric cars need a portable energy store like batteries or fuel cells.

  10. I was thinking that we could use hydrogen and fuel cells. I do not know how efficiant this is tho. But imagine having hydrogen elecrtolys stations and hydrogen tanks to be able to then use them in fuel cells to release the current into the grid

  11. Batteries are TERRIBLE for the environment. But for now are a necessary evil. We need pollution efficient factories a.k.a. none Chinese factories who actually single handedly cause global warming as well as their country itself. The future is bright yet bleak.

  12. Batteries, no way, there is a major problem with their tenure as they do not last longer then 5 years and in computers they last barely two years, becoming a major pollution problem. Poeple can switch to trains, tramways and subways instead as we need to get rid of cars which makes many cities unlivable.

  13. They need to get creative here. Chemical batteries are expensive, but why not use a mechanical battery? For example, use excess power to pump water into a high resevour. Then when power demand increases, just release the water and the pumps become generators that produce power. The same can be done in many other ways as well. There will be a loss of power per Newton's laws, but the same goes for batteries in that it always uses more energy to cuarge the batteries than you will ever get out of them.

  14. Are those real production cost reductions, or are those the cost reductions from the 20% taxpayer subsidies? I thought MIT was working on high efficiency capacitators for this purpose?

  15. I think hydrogen and fuel cells are better. the cost of hydrogen storage is dependent on its container. A sphire has a volume = 4/3 pi R^3 but an area thereby cost = 4pi R^2 so the larger the sphire the cheaper the storage per container. with batteries its linerar.

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