Now, the same thing is happening on power batteries, it will make electric cars cheaper, and the grid can store excess energy to provide energy when needed. It is estimated that by 2040, the transportation industry Battery demand will rise nearly 40 times, and this growth will put increasing pressure on the raw material supply chain.
In the past 10 years, the sharp drop in cost has made solar panels and wind turbines increasingly competitive with coal and natural gas.
Today, the same thing is happening on batteries, which will make electric cars cheaper, and allow the grid to store energy and store excess energy to provide energy when needed.
According to the output of 1 kWh of electricity, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has dropped by 75% over the past eight years. Wood Mackenzie analysts say that for every doubling of battery production, the cost will be reduced by another 5% to 8%.
But unlike solar panels, increasing the battery yield alone is not enough to ensure that prices continue to fall in the absence of action to address critical material shortages. Lithium-ion batteries contain rare metals such as cobalt, while more than half of the cobalt is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the past two years, the price of cobalt has doubled, increasing the production price of batteries.
The supply of raw materials used by the standard power source of the world's growing electric vehicles may be bottlenecked, which is a problem to be worried about when looking into the future.
The good news is that the industry is trying to improve not only the amount of electricity that can be stored when the battery is being used with the same amount of raw materials, but also the more abundant metal.
Investors are investing heavily in start-ups that are expected to develop promising new battery technologies, and major battery companies are turning to batteries that use more nickel instead of cobalt. Utilities that want to develop static power storage facilities are also considering Using a so-called flow battery, which uses recycled materials such as vanadium.
Since Sony commercialized lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the batteries have been playing a key role in the digital revolution, allowing us to use smartphones and tablets during the day and then charging at night. They release large amounts of reserve power in an instant. The ability to make it the technology of choice for electric vehicles.
Wood Mackenzie estimates that by 2040, battery demand in the transportation industry will rise nearly 40 times.
As the number of Chinese battery manufacturers increases, most of the batteries in the next few decades may be made in China. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, by 2028, half of the world's battery capacity may be in China.
This growth will put increasing pressure on the raw material supply chain. As a result, major automakers are turning to lithium-ion batteries that reduce their cobalt use by 75% compared to current technology.
According to Wood Mackenzie, by 2025, low-cobalt batteries will account for the majority of the electric vehicle market.
The consultancy said: 'This battery chemistry technology will not only alleviate the ethical concerns of limited supply and high cobalt production, but also provide energy density far beyond the traditional chemical technology, thus reducing the overall raw material cost.'
Utilities may also turn to so-called flow batteries, which store electrical energy in a separate large container filled with liquid electrolyte and then pump the electrolyte through a cell. This battery can utilize different vanadium and the like. 1. Raw materials, vanadium is a metal that is currently used in the steel industry.
The advantage of vanadium batteries is that the power loss is not as fast as that of lithium-ion batteries (this process is called power decay). Vanadium can also be easily recycled.
'We rent vanadium electrolytes,' said Scott McGregor, chief executive of RedT Energy, a UK-based company. 'It's the first energy industry you don't need to consume.'
China dominates vanadium production, accounting for half of global supply. In the past year, vanadium prices have doubled due to increased steel demand. However, compared to cobalt, vanadium is a globally abundant material. If market forces are stimulating More mining, pushing down the price of vanadium, it is possible to increase the use of batteries based on this element, reducing the overall dependence on existing lithium-ion battery technology.