Global environmental challenges
Harry Potter, horcruxes and Steven Chu
Anyone familiar with Harry Potter knows as least two things: 1) this is the U.S. opening weekend for the final movie in the blockbuster series about the boy wizard and 2) ultimate villain Voldemort uses horcruxes to hold bits of his soul and extend his life.
Leave it to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to riff on horcruxes to explain energy storage.
“While I confess I haven’t yet seen all of the Harry Potter movies including the “Deathly Hallows Part 2,” a staff member (who might be a bigger nerd than I am) was telling me about Lord Voldemort’s “horcruxes” — objects he used to store his life energy. Without them, he lost his power and couldn’t survive,” Chu said on his Facebook page.
“In the ‘muggle’ world, energy storage is crucial to our future as well, but for more positive reasons. It is the key to greatly expanding the use of renewable energy sources that are intermittent like wind and solar power. Better batteries will mean longer range, lower cost electric vehicles, and will make our entire electricity generation and distribution system more efficient by smoothing out fluctuations in demand.”
Check out what the Nobel laureate says about the seven “clean energy horcruxes” in the rest of his post.
This isn’t the first time Chu has used pop culture to make some serious points about energy efficiency. Just before last Halloween, he posted a photo of himself as a zombie to get people to beware of “energy vampires”: electric appliances like DVD players, computers and stereos that suck up power even when they’re turned off.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (A Harry Potter fan waits in line with a Potter-themed pillow before opening of the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″ in New York July 14, 2011)