Catering to the growing demands for improved energy storage technology needs strategic steps towards innovation, research, and development.
FREMONT, CA: The decarbonization movement is gaining strength. With renewable energy adoption rates rising steadily, there have been increased demands for better energy storage systems. The fluctuations associated with renewable energy sources make efficient, long-lasting energy storage solutions critical. Provided that this decade marks the beginning of a substantial transformation of the energy industry, this is the right time to ramp up energy storage facilities. There have been numerous developments in recent times with improvement in properties and a fall in the price of lithium-ion batteries. However, to develop substantial energy storage capacity that can aid the commercialization of renewable energy, companies and governments have to take well-measured steps and device strategies. Some of the considerations are discussed in the following text.
• Funds for Comprehensive Research and Development
The development of energy storage solutions requires continued efforts in research projects and the subsequent value proposition of developed technologies so as to promote commercialization. These steps necessitate proper funding. Companies in the energy sector should look to leverage the incentives that their governments provide and secure timely funding to aid innovations in battery technology. The opportunities for innovation are present in storage technologies, as well as in the advancement of raw materials.
• Focus on Technologies other than Lithium-ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries have been at the center of the energy storage revolution. However, there exist several other technologies that have the potential to evolve into valuable solutions for energy storage. Energy sector companies should make efforts to innovate across the spectrum of these technologies and scale up systems. Some of the prospects in this context include flow batteries, pumped hydro, and compressed air storage.
• Developing Reusable Raw Materials
The dependence on external sources of raw materials and the low capacity of batteries pose significant challenges. The energy sector should look to overcome these challenges by investing in the optimal design of energy storage systems, as well as the sourcing and improvement of raw materials. Once there are technologies for the recycling and reuse of raw materials, battery technology will see rapid advances.
For energy companies that invest in proprietary energy storage solutions, there would be a clear competitive advantage when the world starts running solely on renewable energy.