A Stanford University study suggests that batteries may not be the best bet for storing small-scale wind and solar energy. The study states that doing so is like spending $100 on a safe to store a $10 watch.
The research team calculated the ‘overall energetic cost’ of five battery types – lead-acid, lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, vanadium-redox and zinc-bromine. This included not only the amount of fuel and electricity consumed to operate the batteries, but also to build them in the first place. Charles Barnhart, lead author of the study, said that the “overall contribution to global warming could negate the environmental benefits of the wind or solar farm it was supposed to support.”
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