Batteries were on everyone's mind at this year's Almaden Institute conference.

IBM held its annual confab this week at its Almaden Labs in San Jose, Calif. to discuss the problems that have yet to be hurdled in creating scalable renewable energy storage.

The electric grid might be getting smarter to handle the transmission and distribution of energy generated by renewable sources like solar and wind power, but society demands an energy storage network that can keep up with and anticipate energy supply demand. 

Here's a round up of what went down at Almaden:

Hydrogen: The Fuel for Losers
The present hydrogen fuel cell needs to back to the R&D lab, says Burton Richter, the Paul Pigott professor of the physical sciences and a Nobel Laureate.

Study: Batteries to Add $14,400 to EVs, $5,900 to Plug-Ins
Adding batteries to a plug-in will add $5,900 to the cost of a car in 2035, said Daniel Sperling, founder of the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Davis.

Will Electric Cars Count as Three to the EPA?
The "super credits" for electric cars were one of the more discussed nuances of the revised CAFE standards proposed by the Obama Administration earlier this year. Under the new standards, automakers will be required to boost their blended mileage to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, a 40 percent increase.

The Problem With Lithium-Air Batteries
Lithium-air batteries could improve the performance of standard lithium cells by 10 times, but they've got to do something about the lurking obesity problem.

What's Next in Lithium Batteries?
Researchers are looking into improving the safety and performance of lithium-ion batteries, even as they examine next-generation lithium-based battery chemistries.

The World's Best and Most Impractical Battery?
Advances in lithium chemistry might one day lead to batteries that provide 10 times the performance of existing batteries and cost one-tenth the price, said Winfried Wilcke, IBM Program Director at the Almaden Institute.

Photos: IBM's Lithium-Air Battery 'High Concept' Car
IBM is one of a number of companies touting lithium-air batteries as an alternative to standard lithium-ion batteries.

The Limits of Lithium-Ion Batteries, According to Ford Motor Co.
Lithium-ion is the best battery technology now available for vehicles, but could tap out its promise by the end of the next decade.

Could Electric Cars Eliminate Foreign Oil?
If everyone swapped their cars for electric ones, could we bankrupt OPEC?

Martin Eberhard Has New Auto Gig
Tesla Motors co-founder Martin Eberhard is not going to the auto junkyard. Instead Eberhard is working on a new project in the automotive market.

Tags: almaden institute, batteries, california, electric vehicles, ford, foreign oil, ibm, lithium air, lithium ion, tesla motors