Morning brief: Oil billionaire pursuing perovskites, energy storage market to grow to $546 billion

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Perovskites have been heralded for nearly a decade now as the future of solar. What’s surprising is that some of the most innovative work in the field has been taking place in the laboratories of Hunt Perovskite Technologies, a division of Hunt Consolidated, the conglomerate owned by the Dallas-based billionaire family of Ray L. Hunt, 76. The Hunts’ enthusiasm for perovskites is growing; they announced this month that they have achieved an impressive 18% efficiency with their solar cells.

Perovskites are an unusual pursuit for a family steeped in oil. Source: Forbes

The total energy storage market is expected to grow to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035, according to a report released by Lux Research. The report, “Global Energy Storage Market 2019,” estimates that the three main drivers of energy storage – mobility applications, electronic devices, and stationary storage – will reach an annual combined deployment level of 3,046 GWh over the next 15 years, up from the current 164 GWh, with mobility applications making up the lion’s share of the growth.

Chloe Holzinger, one of the report’s lead authors: “We continue to expect electric mobility applications, primarily light-duty passenger vehicles, to be the principal long-term driver of energy storage annual revenue and demand.”  Source: Lux Research

Arizona lawmakers are considering a bill that would require solar panels to be recycled. The proposed bill would require solar panels to be recycled at an approved recycling facility. It would also would impose a $5 per panel fee on the person who sells or leases the panels, unless those panels are produced by a manufacturer that has its own recycling program. According to the proposal, the manufacturer would have to submit annual reports to the state. Source: AZ family

Japan’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries has invested $46 million into a London-based battery start-up that uses liquid air to store energy, in a vote of confidence for a novel battery technology. The machinery manufacturer said it will expand Highview Power’s technology for the long-term storage of renewable sources of energy globally. The market for batteries that can store large amounts of energy is set to expand rapidly. Source: FT

The U.S. Energy Information Administration just announced some spectacular news that should be banner headlines across the country: The price of natural gas has fallen to its lowest February level in 20 years. The data shows that natural gas prices fell to $1.77 per million British thermal units. In inflation-adjusted terms, the price of gas has plunged by some 80 percent since its high of $13.60 12 years ago. The price is down 90 percent since 2005, when prices hit nearly $20. (Quick: Can you think of anything else that now costs one-tenth of what it did 15 years ago?)

The shale oil and gas revolution keeps rolling on — but no one is talking about it. Source: Fox Business