Electric cars and smartphones have created growing demand – and volatile prices – for once obscure metals.
Grid-scale energy storage systems may make it easier to rely completely on renewable energy.
Saving power to use later lets consumers, businesses and utilities generate energy when it's cheap and deliver it when they need it most. There's not much of it today, but the industry is growing fast.
The proton battery, connected to a voltmeter.
A new rechargeable 'proton battery' - made chiefly from carbon and water - promises to outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries, while also being more environmentally friendly.
More blue sky thinking could help the grid get even smarter.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
'Virtual power plants' offer extra power to the grid by tweaking the operation of batteries and appliances right across the network. But even this might be too blunt a tool for our future energy needs.
Researchers talk to Bruny Islanders who have signed up to an experimental new method of managing energy.
Our energy system puts consumers more or less at the mercy of business and regulators. What if the future of energy meant putting the power back in the hands of households?
Since sodium is abundant, battery technology that uses it side-steps many of the issues associated with lithium batteries.
Demand for energy storage is increasing – both in Australia and around the world. But issues with the production of lithium-ion batteries mean the search is on for alternatives.
Boron is often ignored, but it’s got a lot of important qualities.
Boron is the hidden ingredient in a lot of our technology. Get to know this plucky little element.
The UK is about to miss an opportunity if it tries to take on the giants of the lithium-ion battery industry.
A share of the Edison Storage Battery Company, issued 19 Oct. 1903.
Wikimedia/Sammlung eines Mitglieds des Ersten Deutschen Historic-Actien-Clubs e.V
High energy, high power and endless life cycles: not all batteries are created equal.
Brine pools and processing areas at the Rockwood lithium plant on the Atacama salt flat in northern Chile.
We need to think about the raw materials of batteries -- where they come from and their environmental cost.
Batteries that can last indefinitely are needed to track wildlife.
Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute
Batteries that can self-sustain are needed for long-term animal tracking as well as shipping and logistics.
We need to look at batteries in-action to understand them better.
Emerging industries, from energy storage to electric cars, will need longer lasting batteries. Watching batteries in action will help us build them.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced plans to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in South Australia.
AAP Image/Ben Macmahon
Tesla's new battery will be big enough to power thousands of homes, but it's likely to be just the first of many such installations.
Wireless charging means these cars could run off much smaller and cheaper batteries.
Watt a good idea.
Many believe we can stabilise the power supply by asking customers to help - but there's a problem.
Plan to develop long-lasting supercapacitors would provide a faster, safer alternative to lithium batteries.
Batteries may be a good way to store energy in the home.
Battery image from www.shutterstoc.com
Batteries aren't the only type of storage, and all types of storage have their role to play in the future grid.
Ritchie B Tongo/EPA
Hundreds of thousands of battery fires in Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handsets is a red hot opportunity to better understand what went wrong.
Alternative technologies are already leaving Tesla's batteries in the slow lane.
Tesla’s impressive Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada.
Tesla are taking bold steps to make their production as eco-friendly as possible – but it's not as simple as they hope.