Solar power is going to get cheaper every year. Across almost all of the world it will be the obvious choice for power generation within ten years. Overnight storage will generally be provided by batteries, which are also falling sharply in price every year. But what about countries like the UK, with very little solar energy to tap in winter? The urgent need for northern countries is to find ways of storing energy for several months in massive quantities. This talk will be about the candidate technologies, most of which involve microbial transformations of simple molecules into energy-carrying gases and liquids. Taking illustrations from around the world, Chris Goodall shows that we are much closer than we might imaging to solving the long-term storage problem.
Chris Goodall is a writer on new energy technologies. His latest book, The Switch, is about the coming global transition to an energy system based entirely on solar power.The Guardian called it ’the essential guide to this great benign change’. Earlier books have included the prize-winning How to Live a Low-carbon Life and Ten Technologies to Fix Energy and Climate, which was one of the FT’s books of the year. He is also an occasional angel investor in new companies such as Spinetic, a Swindon business making ultra-low cost vertical wind turbines.