Chiang and Wilder are about to embark on a third round of investment, seeking $20 million to $30 million. They would spend the money to scale up to production of a new machine that makes a cell every two to ten seconds. This machine, to be available for sale in two years, would be for stationary electric batteries—used to power businesses, neighborhoods and utilities, rather than cars.
The machine would have a capacity of 79 megawatt-hours a year and produce any kind of lithium-ion battery for a cost of about $160 per kilowatt-hour. By 2020, Chiang says, that will be down to about $85, 30% below where conventional lithium-ion batteries—whose cost is also dropping—may be by then. But most importantly, the machine would be priced at about $11 million. Hence, the startup cost of getting into lithium-ion battery manufacturing would plummet. “It’s so far out of the paradigm, you just don’t believe it,” said Wilder.
If 24M creates this machine, and if it can sell it into the market—an entirely different question—it will clearly shake up big industries, including stationary and electric car batteries, not to mention utilities. How quickly is anyone’s guess.
Chiang seems ambivalent as 24M begins to disclose what it’s been doing all these years. Until now, the entire industry has had a singular idea of how batteries are manufactured. Chiang’s own rivals were, until today, convinced that he was on a far-fetched crusade to figure out flow batteries.
But now, if they look hard at what he is really doing, and accept his approach, they may attempt to copy him. “If you haven’t seen the movie play out before, you don’t have the confidence it can be done,” he said. But staying a step ahead is also part of the startup game.
San Diego County's economy is continuing its strong start to 2015, a report released Thursday by the University of San Diego says.
The university's index of leading economic indicators measures six factors related to the region's growth, including the labor market, building permits, stock prices and consumer confidence. All six of the economic factors were positive in April, the third time this year that has been the case.
"This shows that the economy is going to be strong for the rest of 2015 and into 2016," said University of San Diego economist Alan Gin.
The index, a composite of those measures, rose 0.9 percent from March to 138.9 in April. It's now approaching its record 144.2 set in March 2006. The monthly measure bottomed out at 100.7 in March 2009.
The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction with animals disappearing about 100 times faster than they used to, scientists warned Friday, and humans could be among the first victims.
Not since the age of the dinosaurs ended 66 million years ago has the planet been losing species at this rapid a rate, said a study led by experts at Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley.
The study "shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," said co-author Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University professor of biology.
And humans are likely to be among the species lost, said the study -- which its authors described as "conservative" -- published in the journal Science Advances.
"If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on," said lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.
The analysis is based on documented extinctions of vertebrates, or animals with internal skeletons such as frogs, reptiles and tigers, from fossil records and other historical data.
The modern rate of species loss was compared to the "natural rates of species disappearance before human activity dominated."
It can be difficult to estimate this rate, also known as the background rate, since humans don't know exactly what happened throughout the course of Earth's 4.5 billion year history.
For the study, researchers used a past extinction rate that was twice as high as widely used estimates.
If the past rate was two mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years, then the "average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 114 times higher than it would be without human activity, even when relying on the most conservative estimates of species extinction," said the study.
"We emphasize that our calculations very likely underestimate the severity of the extinction crisis because our aim was to place a realistic lower bound on humanity's impact on biodiversity."- See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/20/sixth-mass-extinction-here-humans-can-be-first-victims-us-study.html#sthash.aL9ulHiL.dpuf
Egyptian cotton once dominated the colonial economy in the age of Queen Victoria, eventually becoming the gold standard for the world’s finest linens and clothing. Two centuries later, everyone from Martha Stewart to Christian Dior still prizes the supple fiber for its softness and durability.
In Egypt, not so much. Farmers are abandoning a crop that was as much a part of the nation’s identity as the Pyramids. They’re switching to grains because long-fiber cotton isn’t profitable without government aid, and cash subsidies are ending as the country wrestles with one of the biggest budget deficits in the Middle East. Production probably will tumble 35 percent in the next season to the lowest on record, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
“The quality characteristics are unique,” said Andrei Guitchounts, director of trade analysis at the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Washington. “If they lose this production, I don’t think any other producer can replicate it.”