Future of Energy Lies in Unscaling Energy

by Sharon Ha

In this TechCrunch article, Hemant Taneja, founder of Advanced Energy Economy, and Managing Director at investment firm General Catalyst, predicts that solving climate change and the energy crises lies in unscaling energy; creating alternatives to large power plants. He asserts that the government and energy companies need to support and incentivize entrepreneurs to rethink existing energy markets; less than 2% of the Federal Research & Development budget was spent on energy and big energy companies spend only 0.3% of their revenue on energy R&D. However, energy must become more of a priority because not only will unscaling energy allow for more creative and accessible solutions and prevent further climate change, it will also help the job market and lead to economic growth. Taneja predicts that new technology and entrepreneurship in energy will reinvigorate the market and consumer transactions, much like the inventors of Uber or Skype did to the transportation and communications markets. Continue reading

Tesla’s New Battery Factory in Nevada: How it Came About

by Emil Morhardt

An extremely interesting article by Peter Elkind in the current issue of Fortune magazine looks at the evolution of the siting decision for the largest lithium battery factory in the world; by 2020 it will equal the world’s current production. This is particularly interesting to me because I’ve been following one side of the location decision on the University of Nevada Reno NPR station, which I get in Bishop, California, and because I bought a lithium-battery gas-hybrid car over the weekend (not, I’m sorry to report, a Tesla—the least expensive version of Tesla’s Model S all-electric sedan costs $71,000, well above my vehicle price tolerance), and I could clearly see that a plug-in hybrid would be preferable if the batteries cost less and I thought they would be reliable. Same for the Tesla cars for which the batteries constitute at least a quarter of the cost according to the Inside EVs website.  Continue reading