Tag: Manufacturers

Posted in technology

Does Tesla’s Battery Day Mean Energy Storage Manufacturers Must Become Miners?

The world is electrifying at a rapid pace and the mining industry seems to be becoming a quiet but key player in the electrification process. Tesla’s
recent ‘Battery Day’ announcements only highlight the incredible challenges facing the electricity storage market, and raise significant questions about how the market will evolve.

We know that demand for energy storage is surging to meet increasing demand for renewable energy and electrified transport. According to Maria Xylia at Sweco Sweden, only 3% of global capacity can be currently stored and energy demand itself is expected to increase over 50% to 2050. Storage is a fundamental necessity for the integration of renewables into a smoothly running and efficient energy system, and it needs to be cost-effective, high performance and safe.

As Dr. Young-hye Na, Manager, Materials Innovations for Next-Gen Batteries, IBM Research says, “Enabling better battery energy storage will be key to a successful energy transition to renewables and net-zero carbon emissions. While lithium-ion batteries have advanced significantly by cutting cost and improving energy density for the last decade, it is still too expensive to be widely adopted for EV and renewable applications, and heavy metals that are needed to make these batteries – ex. cobalt and nickel – have brought environmental concerns associated with their invasive and energy intensive mining.”

Tesla’s ‘Battery Day’ left experts somewhat puzzled. There had been high expectations of breakthrough announcements but the company laid out future plans for building its own batteries and its own supply chain, and for massively ramping up production to 2030. The company announced a new cell design which could cut battery costs in half but it’s yet ready. It can take up to ten years for a battery to move from the lab to commercial production. For an audience expecting significant change, it