Like in agriculture, I’m all for diversity when it comes to energy sources, and for the same reason — resilience. The more spread out we are, the less susceptible to catastrophic failure we become. (In structural engineering, we refer to this principle as redundancy and building codes give big rewards to structures that have backup load paths in the event that a single element in a particular load path fails.) No single present technology has all the answers, but many of them have some of them. Improving upon the technologies that we do have and focusing on those that have the least side effects seems to be a reasonable approach.

Recently, a professor seems to have discovered a solution to one of the major shortcomings of renewable sources such as wind and solar that are limited in their effectiveness due to intermittency — liquid metal battery technology. Here’s his explanation of how it works:

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