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Inside Form Energy, the Star-Studded Startup Tackling the Toughest Problem in Energy Storage

Industry veterans from Tesla, Aquion and A123 are trying to create cost-effective energy storage to last for weeks and months. A crew of battle-tested cleantech veterans raised serious cash to solve the thorniest problem in clean energy. As wind and solar power supply more and more of the grid's electricity, seasonal swings in production become a bigger obstacle. A low- or no-carbon electricity system needs a way to dispatch clean energy on demand, even when wind and solar aren't producing at their peaks. Four-hour lithium-ion batteries can help on a given day, but energy storage for weeks or months has yet to arrive at scale. Into the arena steps Form Energy, a new startup whose founders ho

Tesla has installed a truly huge amount of energy storage

Tesla, it’s been said, is less a car company than a battery company that sells cars. Today (June 5), the company is announcing a new milestone: Since 2015, it has installed a worldwide total of a gigawatt-hour of energy storage–technology that is critical for using renewable energy at scale. For comparison, that’s nearly half of the entire amount of energy storage installed globally last year. As the company’s electric car business quickly grows, the energy side of its business is growing even faster. “It’s at a scale now where it’s undeniably making an impact,” says JB Straubel, Tesla cofounder and chief technical officer. The cost of battery storage keeps falling; between 2010 and 2016, th

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