As part of a series on innovation, NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden explores new research into how scientists are trying to capture and store renewable energy.
In this report, Bearden talks with scientists who are trying to figure out how to use batteries to store solar and wind energy. Some of the ideas being researched include putting solar cells and batteries inside of window drapes to capture and store energy from the sun for later use.
President Obama proposes spending $209 billion on renewable energy projects over the next 10 years, and research into energy storage could be a key innovation in making renewable energy possible.
Scientists Daniel Nocera and Dan Sadoway caution that more research still needs to be done in order to make their ideas viable.
"The big problems in photovoltaics, solar, and wind is storage. And you can't just go to the auto store and buy a whole bunch of lead acid batteries and lie them down in a field. You've got to have high-density, high-powered energy storage capability, and so the battery is the key enabling technology. " - Don Sadoway
"So you could have your photovoltaic, and then sunlight hits your photovoltaic and runs your house. If I take a little bit of that current from the photovoltaic and feed it to this catalyst, it will split water to oxygen and hydrogen. You could store that in some tanks, like a propane tank. And then at night, the sun goes down, but you have something extra on hand." - Daniel Nocera
What is renewable energy?
Why is renewable energy a big issue now?
Why do you think renewable energy important?
How do you get energy for your house and car now?
What consequences does energy generation have on the environment? Are they important consequences?
Would you sacrifice some convenience to know that you get energy in a more responsible way? Why or why not?