How can energy storage be more sustainable?

In recent decades the cost of wind and solar power generation has dropped dramatically. This is one reason that the U.S. Department of Energy projects that renewable energy will be the fastest-growing U.S. energy source through 2050. However, energy storage solutions are still relatively expensive. And since renewable energy generation isn’t available all the time – it happens when the wind blows or the sun shines – storage is essential.

Three strategies for the energy storage market

To meet the needs of an electrified system, energy storage companies must think strategically. Let’s see the example of Our Next Energy (ONE). The US-based energy storage manufacturer presented three core strategies for growth:

1. Target diverse markets

Instead of discarding or recycling an EV battery from a broken down car, it can be integrated into their electric grid to provide critical storage capacity. Since it’s feasible to transition a battery from a transportation application to a grid storage one, and not the other way around, ONE immediately scales their automotive products.

Solid state batteries

2. Use more sustainable raw materials

For the EU to remain competitive and to preserve our environment, natural resources should be used in the most efficient way and without depleting the planet’s resources. Recycled waste can be injected back into the economy as secondary raw materials. The EU works to make this easier, and to realise the full potential of these materials. It also promotes the fair and sustainable sourcing of primary raw materials globally.

After western countries sanctioned Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, nickel prices doubled to a record $100,000 per ton and trading on the London Metal Exchange was halted. Even companies that don’t use Russian nickel are affected by this dramatic price increase. Consequently, as Bloomberg reports, supply chain disruptions for critical battery metals will cause EV battery prices to rise for the first time after a decade of rapid, continuous decline.

To ensure our products maintain price stability, ONE has developed a high-performing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery that does not require rare and expensive metals, such as nickel and cobalt. Through novel design, our LFP Aries pack is equipped with industry-leading energy density, enabling longer range at a lower price.

3. Localise manufacturing

Currently, only 5.5% of lithium-ion batteries are manufactured in North America, according to a recent report. While overseas investments have helped the EV sector to grow, there are several problems with overseas production.

At ONE, they have decided to manufacture products in the US We commissioned an independent analysis, which indicated that by implementing a North American supply chain and onshoring cell manufacturing, ONE could reduce greenhouse gas emissions for our LFP cells for our Aries pack by 34%, and 29% for the anode-free and LFP cells for their second product, Gemini.

Also read Why do we need energy storage systems?

Our work with energy storage

Universal Kraft has been working with compressed air storage solutions for several years, combining renewable energy production, through wind or solar, with an energy storage system of compressed air in the ground or in tanks. Currently, together with partners, we are developing a new technology in which a compressor is used to pump air into the ground or tank for storage, that is then reversed when the energy is needed, into a generator. Discover our projects here.

Original source: World Economic Forum

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