We’ve gotten a pretty decent stream of views in the past couple days from people googling “liquid metal battery” or “donald sadoway battery” or “ambri” or something along those lines. Given that there wasn’t any recent news on Donald Sadoway’s liquid metal battery (now being developed under the company name Ambri — which is backed by Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, and several others), I was a bit unsure where the surge in interest was coming from. I figured it must have been featured on TV or something. Sure enough, that seems to have been the case — Donald Sadoway and his liquid metal battery were featured on The Colbert Report show this week. The full interview is below.
For anyone not aware, Colbert pretends to be an über conservative… nonstop. Surprisingly, many interviewees don’t seem to be aware of that coming into the interview. Or, if they are aware, they just get totally thrown off. Sadoway seems to do quite a good job here of playing along a bit, staying composed, and getting his key points across.
He does seem to inadvertently promote some common misconceptions in the interview, however. While pointing out that better batteries will make it easier to store and use electricity produced from solar and wind energy (true), he almost makes it sound like we can’t integrate those into the grid without better batteries (not true). As recent studies have shown: the U.S. could be getting 70% of its electricity cheaply from renewable energy by 2030 with current technology, and the world could be 95% powered by renewables by 2050 with no breakthrough technologies.
So, it’s definitely not that we can’t do it, or that there’s anything technical holding back a surge in renewable integration today. However, big breakthroughs, especially in energy storage, will certainly help and can speed up our global renewable energy revolution. We here at CleanTechnica are big fans of Sadoway and his liquid metal battery, and I’m very happy to see him getting some attention in ‘mainstream’ media. I imagine the real Colbert is, too.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.