We’ve come a long way from double-A batteries powering our devices, but we’re still constantly plugging in to charge laptops and phones at the end of the day. The Department of Energy is funding up to $30 million for further research into energy storage that can last for days instead of hours. Focus isn’t so much on our mobile devices, but for the improvement of the national power grid.
New devices are seeing improvements in lithium-ion battery storage, which represents a 90 percent share of energy storage market. However, this technology becomes less efficient each time it’s charged up and used. That’s going to be an issue for large-scale energy storage solutions for electric vehicles and buildings -- range is already limited in the majority of EVs.
There’s still a market for lithium-ion batteries as the technology continues to get cheaper, but it may not be viable when solar and wind sources are not generating enough energy in long stretches. Sticking with this technology could also hurt the development of alternative methods that could have more storage and longer cycles according to the MIT Energy Initiative.