The role of lithium-Ion battery packs in the energy transition
Batteries are playing an important role in facing the global warming crisis head on and are a strong component in sustainability. But what exactly is the role of batteries in the energy transition? Here, we explore the advantages of batteries in a sustainable world.
What is energy transition?
The energy transition is a path to a more sustainable future, and the global energy sector must adjust from fossil based to zero carbon by 2050 to help combat climate change. To do so, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, supported by lithium-ion batteries are needed to be used as a replacement for systems in place that include things like oil and natural gas.
The availability of renewable energy sources and the increase in battery storage are driving the possibility of meeting the goal, and it emphasises the importance of batteries in the energy transition.
Lithium-ion batteries are dominating?
There are many types of batteries, and given the numerous things in our lives that need power, it’s likely that you’ve encountered quite a few. However, lithium-ion battery packs are common, and you’re likely to be more familiar with these as they’re used to power everyday appliances like mobile phones.
Electric cars may not be dominating the roads yet, but numbers are rising. There are currently 470,000 electric vehicles in the UK and counting – and these are also powered by lithium-ion batteries.
With many advantages, like low self-discharge and a long lifetime, they are used for many important things – in fact, they’re also used to power micro and macro energy grids. As lithium is ultimately a recyclable resource, this is a major benefit and reflects why they are key for the energy transition.
With batteries being used for transport, the future of travel can be more sustainable. Approximately 30% of global greenhouse emissions are generated by travel, so it’s essential that this is reduced to combat climate change, and batteries are a factor to make a difference.
The circular economy
The reliance on batteries in the energy transition puts pressure on lithium-ion batteries and the materials needed to produce them, so it’s important to take advantage of the fact that a circular economy exists in the battery industry and recycle them.
Recycling batteries will place less strain on battery pack manufacturers as there is a reduced risk of a shortage of materials to produce them. Additionally, battery recycling is a safe step to take for the environment and neglecting to do so contradicts the energy transition.
Batteries have many purposes – thanks to lithium-ion batteries, there’s a chance that the plan to reach zero-carbon in 2050 could be achieved. However, they must be used and recycled correctly in order to satisfy the goals that have been set.