Bottling Sunlight

April 10, 2018 Kenneth Tam

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Folio publishes stories every weekday that highlight new research or share expertise from researchers at the University of Alberta.

According to research published by the International Energy Agency, the world consumed 18.3 terawatt years (TWy) of energy in 2014. It only takes eight hours of sunlight to be able to produce 21 TWy of solar energy. And the cost of producing it has dropped dramatically in the last few years.

Utility-scale solar arrays require big storage. In Australia, Tesla recently installed a massive lithium ion battery array to store renewable energy, but lithium is not an unlimited resource, and batteries are not ideal for all situations-many Albertans know the lithium ion batteries in their phones don't like the cold. If we plan to move the entire world to sources like solar and other renewables, we need multiple ways to store the power.

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Steve Bergens, PhD


Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

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