Feb 11, 2020 - Energy & Environment

California power crisis charges up battery sales

Close-up of screen terminal with wires on the negative terminal of a 12 volt solar photovoltaic battery bank. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Sales of residential batteries in California are expected to quadruple this year to over 50,000 storage systems, the research firm BloombergNEF said in a short new analysis.

Why it matters: It adds specifics to the expectation that power outages — notably widespread blackouts by utilities seeking to cut wildfire risk — will juice sales.

  • "[C]ustomers installing solar are willing to pay a premium to add storage for backup," they said in the short report.

The big picture: They note it's an opportunity for solar companies that also offer batteries.

  • "Storage sales have been increasing quickly due to generous subsidies, time-of-use tariffs and solar companies eager to upsell," it states.

Go deeper: California is on track to miss its 2030 greenhouse gas target

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Why India needs cheap batteries

Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new International Energy Agency analysis highlights the importance of battery storage paired with renewables in helping to decarbonize power.

Why it matters: India, the focus of the analysis, is the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter (after China and the U.S.) and suffers from terrible air quality problems.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

Solar Orbiter to offer a new look at our nearest star

Artist's illustration of the Solar Orbiter. Image: NASA/NASA Goddard

A new mission expected to launch to space from Florida on Sunday will give scientists an unprecedented view of the Sun.

Why it matters: Despite decades of studying our closest star, scientists still can't accurately predict our Sun's behavior — when it will eject solar flares, sprout sunspots or how the solar wind works.

Go deeperArrowFeb 4, 2020 - Science

We're about to learn a lot more about the Sun

The Sun is getting its due. Photo: NASA/SDO/AIA

The Sun is getting a long-overdue close-up thanks to a number of new missions designed to reveal the inner workings of our nearest star.

Why it matters: The mechanisms that govern the solar wind, the Sun's 11-year cycle and magnetic fields are still largely a mystery.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Science