Energy transitions throughout history have ushered in times of dramatic change. Every day another series of breakthroughs can be found in the media. This astounding level of innovation speaks to the reality of an energy transition that is at the leading edge of a shift from our current era to the next. It also highlights the role that catalysts play in creating the future. In the energy context, the situation in Ukraine is a catalyst that likely accelerates the transition. For example, Denmark wants to build what it calls ‘Energy Islands’ to free Europe from using Russian fuel. This article describes how these islands were part of Denmark’s transition towards renewable energy, but tensions with Russia (catalyst) both expanded and accelerated their vision.
Meanwhile, for the first time ever, renewables met all of California’s energy needs for a few minutes on a Saturday afternoon. The energy mix was comprised of solar (66%) and wind (25%), with geothermal, biomass, biogas and hydro contributing.
When we see renewable energy peaks like this, we are getting to re-imagine what the grid will look like for generations to comeAshutosh Bhagwat, chair of the ISO’s board of governors
Not to be outdone, the world of mobility is contributing to this explosion of innovation. An electric bus with 300 miles of range recently launched. Per a recent article, starting in 2023, the 40-foot Proterra ZX5 Max electric transit bus can be equipped with up to 738 kilowatt hours (kWh) of onboard energy. That’s up from its current 675 kWh capacity. Battery life and the time it takes to charge them are often cited as obstacles to electric vehicle adoption. However, according to this article, what may be the first commercially viable lithium metal solid state battery charges to 80% in just 15 minute. In related news, scientists in China have come up with what’s described as “extremely fast charging” technology.
A lithium-ion battery hit 60 percent capacity in under six minutes. The breakthrough is billed as a significant one for the world of electric vehicles where recharge times lag far behind refueling times for conventional cars, and could make them a far appealing proposition on that frontNick Lavars – Extremely fast-charging” battery hits 60 percent in under 6 minutes
That quote is from an article that describes rapid advances in battery storage and the architectures that support it. Across every domain, great invention is accelerating and there are amazing similarities between this emerging era and past eras that represent the most transformative periods in history. One need only scan the horizon regularly to appreciate how impactful this era is likely to be.