MIT Professor Donald Sadoway On The Future Of Battery Storage And Renewable Energies
For over two thousands years, scientists have experimented with ways to capture the energy of the sun. Archimedes in 212 BC, for instance, famously rigged a system of mirrors that was used to spark fires aboard enemy ships—sort of like an ancient heat ray.
Over time, the methods of capturing solar energy have obviously evolved (and perhaps become a bit less dramatic) but there are persisting questions for scientists: How do you best store the energy from the sun, and how do you distribute it cheaply and efficiently at scale?
From my perspective, as a person who cares deeply about the environment and the future of our planet, those questions are among society’s most pressing concerns. Global warming is an existential threat to humanity, and we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But I’m also an investor who embraces the belief that fossil fuels and carbon emissions will eventually be phased out entirely. I’ve been calling it the “clean energy revolution,” and to get there, we must cultivate new ideas, start anew, and listen to the boldest visionaries who are addressing these problems at a global scale.
Recently I had the chance to speak with one of those visionaries: A scientist who has spent an entire career working on (and inventing) grid-level renewable energy storage mechanisms.