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Scientists Reveal Strange Molecule That Can Store Sun's Energy For 18 Years

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Guest Nicole

One of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of renewables is energy storage. Where do you store energy when the sun's not shining, the wind's not blowing, etc.?

A Swedish research team believes it found the breakthrough renewables was looking for, a solar thermal fuel that can store the sun's energy for up to 18 years.

Hydrocarbons, in part, became the world's dominant energy source because they are relatively cheap to extract, can be stored for long periods of time, and can be utilized immediately. These factors make it a great source for energy to power on-demand. As batteries continue to develop in their capacity to store energy and for long periods of time, they have begun to supplant hydrocarbons, i.e. electric vehicles.

As an alternative to batteries, the specialized solar thermal fluid can hold the sun's energy for long periods of time and expel that energy on demand. Unlike batteries, which discharge electricity, the solar thermal fuel emits heat when activated through a catalyst. This means the fluid would be ideal for heating residential and commercial homes.

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/11/06/scientists-reveal-strange-molecule-that-can-store-suns-energy-for-18-years/#4d2a30234835

https_%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Ftrevornace%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F11%2FScreen-Shot-2018-11-06-at-9.36.52-AM-1200x392.jpg

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/11/06/scientists-reveal-strange-molecule-that-can-store-suns-energy-for-18-years/#4d2a30234835

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We already have ...and have had biochemical heat storage systems in place for many thousands of years.

It's called FIREWOOD.

With sunlight, carbon is extracted from the CO2 in the  air and stored in the wood, and oxygen is expelled as a very helpful waste product.

Collections of these energy storage molecules, called cellulose, are currently destroying large parts of California with their released heat.

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Why don’t we create huge artificial forests in the desert and use that wood for on demand power. 

I wonder if the energy needed to desalinate and transport (pump) the water to the desert would cancel out the added wood (energy)?

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