Well done on completing the first week! You’re one step closer to understanding the battery revolution.
Here are the key ideas that you should retain from this week:
There are different forms of energy storage depending on two scales, power and time. Certain energy storage technologies are used as a way to store energy for different periods of time. However, the storage technology choice depends on how much power you need to store. In this context, understanding which energy storage technology is appropriate in each case is crucial! Lithium-ion batteries in particular play an important role in the battery revolution. They offer several benefits such as portability, and will only grow to be more important in the near future.
The global challenge is well-known: transforming power and transportation systems through the integration of batteries can provide a solution to complete the energy transition towards renewables. Battery prices have already fallen dramatically within the last 5 years and batteries’ energy density has increased! Talking about the transportation sector, electric cars will be competitive when the life cycle costs can meet or beat those of a fossil fuel car. This point is already about to be reached as, around 2023 in Europe and 2025 in the US, we are going to see the price of an electric car to be the same as that of a fossil car. But battery storage will play an important role in heavy transport and aviation too, probably by 2040. When looking at the power sector, the need to store power is increasing and there are limitations. Batteries can provide the flexibility needed, and can help keeping the system balanced by stabilising the frequency.
Energy storage will play a major role in the future for residential, commercial and industrial sectors, and will lead to a transformation of both the power and the transportation sectors. Depending on the sector and the needs, energy storage applications will be a significant part of the future energy system. The goal for a 100% renewable energy system could be achieved in the future, thanks to state-of-the-art batteries and other forms of storage. We will be able to start seeing the transformation already by 2025 but many steps are necessary to reach the 100% renewable energy goal!
With energy storage playing such an important role in the future, it is clear that the battery industry will have to be able to handle an important growth in demand, and a subsequent increase in production. Will there be enough resources? What about production capacity? In the next module, we will look into the battery supply chain and focus on large scale production processes. We will also learn more about the li-ion industry.