What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Could Super-Batteries Replace the Energy Grid?

February 29, 2012, 7:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

A company that makes low-cost, high-storage batteries is set to scale their production in a Pennsylvania factory. Just outside Pittsburgh, Aquion Energy will retrofit an old Sony television factory to produce batteries designed to store energy from renewable energy sources like wind farms and solar panels. "The first applications are expected to be in countries like India, where hundreds of millions of people in communities outside major cities don't have a connection to the electrical grid or any other reliable source of electricity."

What's the Big Idea?

Just as cellphone towers brought telephone access to communities without traditional land line infrastructure, batteries could bring electricity to underdeveloped communities. The technology could also benefit industrialized countries by providing power to the grid at times of peak energy usage. Currently, the cost of the batteries are $300 per kilowatt-hour, far cheaper than lithium-ion cells but still too expensive to compete with natural gas in the US. The batteries are made from a relatively safe and cheap water-based electrolyte. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


Could Super-Batteries Repla...

Newsletter: Share: