Renewable energy can transform the global economy, but it is possible only if the energy generated can be stored safely and cost-effectively. How to store them economically and efficiently is the battery race, which has got all the venture-capitalists to policy-makers participating with high stakes.
FREMONT, CA: The race to produce efficient energy storage systems has resulted in unprecedented billions of dollars being poured into battery research and development. Endless streams of start-ups have been formed with a hope to crack the code on the energy-storing box. With money coming in from multinationals scrambling to hold on to quality technological fixes, venture capitalists wishing for the next significant innovation, and billionaires who want to save the planet from both sides of the Pacific ocean the innovation to produce the ultimate battery is high.
The global urge to create optimal energy storage has two important heats. One is for production of batteries used in electric cars; a market that was valued at approximately 13 billion in 2017, and is set to quadruple in the next decade. The other is to manufacture batteries in large scales for the electric grid. It should be produced in a factory-scale, capable of storing massive quantities of energy, potentially for an extended period if the technology supporting the ideology, is said to result in a significant transition from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. The fossil fuels market has remained nascent and majorly dependent on government subsidies. On the same note, technologists have bankrolled streams of cash on the production of large scale batteries in such stealth that their products should reach the market first.
The main goal of the research is to focus on maximizing the “energy density,” which is the quantity of energy stored in a battery. It is based on the number of ions the battery’s anode can hold; the higher the capacity, the more electrons it will possess to keep the device functioning. The simplicity of the ions and anode frames have resulted in critical realities for the battery hunters of the present.
The batteries are produced from the element lithium. It is a light element, which contains small ions, allowing a large number of them to be cramped into the anode. Hence, most devices in the present day are powered by “Lithium-ion” batteries. Another factor is the quest for finding a better anode, the one that can accommodate massive quantities of lithium ions. These factors have resulted in a chest-thumping among national capitals, in terms of national security as the battery sector is increasing on a global scale, giving a hard time for the law-makers to navigate among the industry.