Ravi Prasher, division director of the Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division at Berkeley Lab, recently gave a talk at UC Berkeley about the electricity grid. Below is an excerpt and video of his talk.
Fossil fuels have powered economic growth and improved quality of life for more than two centuries – and for good reason.
They can store a great deal of energy, and it can be used any time. It’s available on demand. Renewable energy technology today can’t match that flexibility. At night, solar panels stop generating electricity. Wind turbines stand idle on still days. And when these renewables do produce power, it can’t be stored economically for later use.
The challenge for the scientific community is how to gain flexibility from renewable sources. The vision at Berkeley Lab is “discovery to devices.” Prasher and his colleagues have pioneered efforts to use computing power to discover new materials. His group then synthesizes the materials, and finally makes devices to test in the real world. He stresses that researchers are doing what they must: moving toward a future when we can assure steady, flexible, economical clean energy.
Watch the video here: youtube/AovWwtrdugA