One of the big obstacles in alternative energy is that some of its primary gathering mechanisms -- solar, wind, reclaimed heat -- aren't continuously available, so no matter how much of a science lab you have bolted to your roof, you still might run out of TV electricity during a calm night's Curb Your Enthusiasm
marathon. Well, Panasonic's recent buy of Sanyo
brought with it some choice battery tech, and the newly joined companies think they can be the first to build and ship a storage battery for home use. The plan is to release the lithium-ion cell in 2011, with enough juice in it to power a home for a week (a Japanese home, we presume), and the battery will be paired with a system to allow the user to monitor electricity usage on their TV. Of course, fuel cells have traditionally been looked to as the great home energy storage hope, but we doubt any will be able to compete with the tried-and-true lithium-ion by the time 2011 rolls around.