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Are Concrete Blocks the Next Batteries?

In August 2019, the Japanese multinational holding firm SoftBank invested $110 million in Swiss company Energy Vault. It was a major boon for the company, which has a somewhat unique take on renewables: It stores potential energy through the use of stacked concrete blocks. Energy Vault will use the investment to build its first two full-scale models in Italy and India. Energy Vault is only two years old, but has earned its investment through growing interest in energy storage. As renewables rise in use and their prices drop, energy storage is becoming increasingly crucial. Left to their own devices, energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines don't run forever; solar panels can only pr

Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries. “We have gained access to a technical revolution,” said Sara Snogerup Linse, a chemistry professor and member of the award committee, sweeping her finger at the reporters gathered at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries provide energy to mobile phones, pacemakers and electric cars. “This is a highly charged story with tremendous potential,” said committee member Olof Ramström, a professor of chemistry at Linnaeus University. These batteries are increasingly used to store power from so

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