Skip to main content
To KTH's start page To KTH's start page

Brown Bag Seminar: Thomas Turnbull - The Planetary Battery: on the pitfalls of storing energy

Welcome to a lunch seminar with researcher Thomas Turnbull. He will give you a historical overview of the many attempts to store energy, and addressing whether we should pursue the storing of energy into batteries, followed by a conversation with the audience.

Time: Thu 2023-09-21 12.00 - 13.00

Location: Big seminar room, Teknikringen 74D (floor 5)

Language: English

Participating: Thomas Turnbull, Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Germany

Export to calendar

In this talk, the trials and tribulations of various attempts to store energy are addressed from a wide-ranging historical perspective. Turnbull addresses this problem by focusing on recent developments in and around Berlin. Drawing on an unrelenting year of energy historical events (2022), a number of past, present, and future episodes are recounted which suggest the dream of unparalleled control over Earth’s flows of energy is unravelling. Perhaps it is better to light fires in caves rather than using them to store gas? Rather than clinging on to the vestiges of fossil-fuelled existence, or trying to replicate the 24/7 lifestyles their combustion encouraged by transforming the Sun’s energetic flows into innumerable batteries, the author asks if some of us might be better off welcoming the intermittency of the Sun back into our lives.

Vegan sandwiches are served for everyone that register!

Do you want to join?

Register for the seminar, the talk and a vegan ciabatta! Send and email to

Deadline for ciabatta: September 16th