Battery life: the race to find a storage solution for a green energy future. Billions are being invested in storage technologies essential to speeding up the replacement of fossil fuels by renewables. From battery technologies that use abundant raw materials to volcanic rocks, to reservoirs filled with liquid air and systems that reduce the weight of abandoned mine shafts, companies are fighting to develop the next breakthrough that will unlock the large-scale renewable energy by mid-century. The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they can be placed anywhere and can deliver power to the grid very quickly, just as they do in electric cars. They can respond in milliseconds and typically provide up to four hours of storage, helping grids cope with sudden power outages, but are less profitable in the long run. In the UK, the majority of large-scale lithium-ion batteries provide power for 30 to 90 minutes.
FT 22nd Nov 2020 read more »