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    1. Utility-Scale Energy Storage Will Enable a Renewable Grid

      Utility-Scale Energy Storage Will Enable a Renewable Grid

      The way the world gets its electricity is undergoing a rapid transition, driven by both the increased urgency of decarbonizing energy systems and the plummeting costs of wind and solar technology. But the intermittent nature of those sources means that electric utilities need a way to keep energy in their back pocket for when the sun is not shining and the winds are calm. That need is increasing interest in energy-storage technology which is finally poised to be more than just a bit player in the grid.

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      Mentions: California DoE U.S.
    2. Battery Storage Poised to Expand Rapidly

      Battery Storage Poised to Expand Rapidly

      The summer of 2016 was one of dire warnings for Southern California energy consumers. A massive methane leak from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility outside Los Angeles had drained the region's natural gas supply, and the word went out that gas shortages could disrupt the region's power deliveries by the summer of 2017. Amid fears of rolling blackouts across the nation's second-largest metro area and beyond, utilities like Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric latched on to a solution that for years had been quietly deployed, but needed an event like a looming gas shortage to be thrust into prime time.

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    3. Progress: U.S. Carbon Emissions Decline

      Progress: U.S. Carbon Emissions Decline

      The release of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in the first half of this year sank to their lowest level since 1991, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday. The agency attributed the decline to a warm winter, slumping use of coal-fired electricity, and strong growth in renewable and hydroelectric power. It was the first time in 25 years that emissions during the first six months of any year were that low.

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      Mentions: U.S. EIA
    4. World's Largest Storage Battery Will Power Los Angeles

      World's Largest Storage Battery Will Power Los Angeles

      By 2021, electricity use in the west Los Angeles area may be in for a climate change-fighting evolution. For many years, the tradition has been that on midsummer afternoons, engineers will turn on what they call a “peaker,” a natural gas-burning power plant In Long Beach. It is needed to help the area’s other power plants meet the day’s peak electricity consumption. Thus, as air conditioners max out and people arriving home from work turn on their televisions and other appliances, the juice will be there.

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      Mentions: California DoE Hawaii
    5. A Historical Tour of the Clean Energy Future

      A Historical Tour of the Clean Energy Future

      ARPA-E started in 2009 with a budget of $400 million, about one third of what its intellectual predecessor, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) got for its start in 1962. With ambitions to instigate a second industrial revolution, the agency received proposals for some 3,700 would-be world-changing energy technologies and handed out $151 million to 37 of them, ranging from turning water and CO2 into fuel with nothing but sunlight to better batteries. The largest single award, for $9.1 million, went to Foro Energy to help develop laser drilling that could make it cheaper to tap Earth's heat to generate electricity.

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      Mentions: California DoE India
    6. Secretive Company Claims Battery Breakthrough

      Secretive Company Claims Battery Breakthrough

      Two of the most sacred numbers in the electric-vehicle industry are 300 miles and $100. The first is generally considered to be the distance electric cars need to travel on a single charge for Americans to take them seriously. The second is the cost, per kilowatt-hour, to which batteries need to drop before EVs can compete with gas-powered cars on sticker price. Sakti3, a Michigan startup that auto-industry insiders have been whispering about for years, says it might soon hit those two sacred targets. The company has long been in semi-stealth mode, talking to the press but offering few particulars about its technology. 

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      Mentions: GM Michigan Sakti3
    7. Braking Trains Coupling with Energy Storage for Big Electricity Savings

      Braking Trains Coupling with Energy Storage for Big Electricity Savings

      Philadelphia’s mass transit system used more than 500,000 megawatt-hours (pdf) of electricity in 2011, equivalent to the annual consumption of around 46,000 average U.S. homes. A lot of the electricity went into the city’s two subway lines, but the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, is now taking innovative steps to try to conserve some of that energy. It has combined a technology called regenerative braking with electricity storage, and other cities are starting to follow suit.

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      Mentions: U.S. Oregon Spain
    8. Energy Storage Hits the Rails Out West

      Energy Storage Hits the Rails Out West

      What is over 4 miles long, is full of dirt and has a potential power output of 50 megawatts? If you're stumped, don't worry—not many people have heard of energy-storage-by-rail, a concept soon to be launched on the southwestern edge of Nevada. But its architects have high ambitions for a project they say could go a long way toward stabilizing the regional power grid.

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    9. How Big a Battery Would It Take to Power All of the U.S.?

      How Big a Battery Would It Take to Power All of the U.S.?

      North America is windy. If the U.S. and Canada had enough wind turbines, they could produce all the electricity they need, and then some, from wind alone. The same is true of solar energy, with even bigger power surpluses. The U.S. Southwest's deserts get enough sunlight to sustain the country's thirst for electricity—20 times over. But both these sources are inherently erratic: winds wane and clouds show up with little notice. Wind, moreover, tends to blow harder at night, when demand for electricity is at its lowest.

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      Mentions: California Japan DoE
    10. Is the Secret to Cheap Energy Storage Hiding in Harlem?

      Is the Secret to Cheap Energy Storage Hiding in Harlem?

      Ensconced in a former warehouse in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood, an energy start-up has equipment not typically associated with battery manufacture—restaurant-grade mixers, pasta-makers and even rolling pins. This kitchen equipment makes ingredients that the company hopes will turn the familiar alkaline battery into a cheap way to store the electricity from massive wind farms.

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      Mentions: U.S. Urban Electric
    1-11 of 11
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