This is truly related to wind energy, especially the whole grid-tie fiasco.
Energy storage is the conundrum...
If you have ever followed my posts, the holy grail of alternative energy is the storage battery. There just really are not any good low-cost solutions. I have always advocated big-dumb, quantity over quality, use readily available waste like pee and aluminum cans...and well, now: pencils...imagine a whole crawlspace filled with this:
Its an interesting idea, and I am favorable to it, but I could not help but notice they skirted around how urea is formed and what it is derived from (Natural Gas).
If batteries were built enough to help with the grid-based-energy-storage conundrum; it would drive the price of urea sky-high, not to mention the issue with peak natural gas production issues and fracking. This could hit people in two ways; really high food prices just as the taking of ammonium nitrate did a few years ago, and higher electrical and domestic energy costs. Those two things combined MIGHT make what is saved in electrical costs domestically, a moot point.
It is crazy sometimes how one industry affects another so interchangeably.
I didn't see in the article where they mentioned price and when they expect them to be available. I did see that they were 10x cheaper than their previous version.
I wonder if they'll take urea in trade for the batteries.....
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"