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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds So moving on to transportation, how can batteries actually influence this sector? Well, first of all, let me say that the dream was always to be able to have battery-operated cars. And we have always pointed batteries being the weak point and because performance was not acceptable in terms of price and energy density. But people do not realise that both these problems are about to be solved. Price for a lithium battery had been falling dramatically, i mean from $1,000 per kilowatt hour just six years ago. Today, we are down to $200, which is a dramatic fall of course. And also, energy density has doubled over the last three years.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds So now, we’re at the point where the batteries are good enough for cars, and they can provide then cars that are competitive. So what do we mean by competitive cars? Of course, one point of competitiveness is when the life cycle costs for an electric car can meet or beat a fossil car. And I would say that point we have are about to reach in Europe already this year because fuel prices are quite high. In US, it will take a bit longer. Then, if we look at the next point, which is more dramatic one, when an electric car has the same price as a fossil car. And there, we are looking at around 2023 in Europe and 2025 in US.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds So it’s not that far away. And I think you can realise that, when the car meets the cost for purchasing, it’s very tough to sell a fossil car. And will we ever see batteries being used in heavy vehicles and in aviation as well? Well, it’s interesting you ask because, if you would have asked me two years ago, I would have said flat no on both. Today, for heavy transport I will say definitely yes. And for aviation, I will also say yes, probably. And it’s all a matter of time. If you give us a time, say up till 2040, then I will guess we for sure have them and maybe even 2030. So I’m only discussing the time, not if.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 seconds How do you see that looking like? When we got to 2030, if we do have batteries in, say, aviation, how is that going to look like when we first start? Is it going to be like a full-blown 747, or is it going to be smaller? What do you think? It will start with smaller planes. And the interesting development is now people are developing like four-seater planes. And what I see also says as an engineer– I like it quite a lot– instead of having two engines, they have maybe 36 engines, many small engines, which makes the plane more flexible also and actually more reliable.

Skip to 3 minutes and 0 seconds Of course, that’s not enough for public transportation, but there are already concrete plans to build 150-seater planes that will fly before 2030 in commercial operation. And it’s fascinating because, again, we never expected this development just a few years ago. What would the duration of that flight be with 2030 on the horizon? How long would that flight last? Is it going to be a short flight and then going to build up to long haul? Well, short. Short is one and a half hour. And you can reach quite far in one and a half hour. I mean, for instance, most of the inland transportation– and Europe is a small continent also. We can cover quite a lot there.

Skip to 3 minutes and 45 seconds And it’s interesting that the government in Norway has a target that, by 2040, all domestic flights in Norway will be electric. It’s a quite tough target, but I think it’s fantastic that they put it up there. We have to give them some credibility because Norway is the first country to transform cars to electric. Last year, more than 50% of new cars sold in Norway were electric. So that’s already done. Now, they can go to aviation. And are there any other countries that are wanting to do the same thing? Yes, but no one else has set up a target so far. How exactly are batteries impacting the power sector?

Skip to 4 minutes and 25 seconds Well, we know that the power sector, we are changing the way we produce electricity. We go more toward the wind, solar, and renewable energy. And there, we have an increased need to store power. For instance, from day to night is obvious. But also, to be able to capture if there are, for instance, good winds, to capture the wind, and we can store it and use it later. So that’s one aspect. But in the power sector, it’s more than that because we talk about we have a lot of challenges in the power sector– for instance, to keep the balance in the system. And there, batteries can provide a new element to be used. We talk about keeping frequency.

Skip to 5 minutes and 6 seconds And that is another thing that people I don’t think are so fully aware of, that we can use batteries to stabilise the frequency in the grid. And we can also stabilise voltages. So all these things that could be I will say limitations in the power system, the batteries can actually help, and they can provide a new solution that is very flexible. You can build from small to large. You can place it in different parts of the power system. You could have centralised storage. You can have decentralised, actually all the way down to individual consumers. The security of supply is becoming a lot more important. What are your thoughts on that?

Skip to 5 minutes and 47 seconds Well, there again, it’s obvious because today, we say that the grid should give us security. So the requirement on the grid is that it has to be extremely reliable. We cannot accept any break in the grid. And that makes the grid costly. To have this high reliability is very costly. But think about if you have a battery in your home which means that you can live without the grid for hours. It’s a remarkable enhancement of the security of supply. And you have more independence. Eventually, I think this would make the grid cheaper, and it will more than well pay for the batteries.

Energy storage in the power and transportation sectors

Have you ever considered how energy storage can affect the power sector? How battery storage could be applied in transportation? Consider the challenges and the issues in the field of renewable energy technologies that energy storage could solve. A leader in his field, Bo Normark, Thematic Leader for Smart Grids and Energy Storage at InnoEnergy shares all you need to know about this.

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Understanding Energy Storage: The Battery Revolution

EIT InnoEnergy