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As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries

As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries
Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries

Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.
BY MADELEINE STONE, 29 May 21 , When Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning last week — an all-electric version of the best- selling vehicle in the United States—it was a big moment in the short history of electric cars. The 530-horsepower, 6,500-pound truck’s sticker price of just under $40,000 ($32,474 with a federal tax credit) drew comparisons to Ford’s Model T, the vehicle credited with making cars accessible to the middle class. In the first 48 hours after the battery-powered behemoth debuted, Ford received close to 45,000 pre-orders for it, equivalent to nearly 20 percent of all EVs registered in the U.S. last year……… (subscribers only)


June 1, 2021 Posted by | energy storage, RARE EARTHS | Leave a comment

Residential batteries ready to compete with fossil fuels and nuclear in Germany

Sonnen: Residential batteries ready to compete with fossil fuels and nuclear in Germany Energy Storage, 14 Dec 18 ,  Batteries in private households will be now able to perform the “same tasks as a conventional power plant”, across the whole of Germany, the CEO of Sonnen has said, following a ruling that opens up grid services markets to the company’s devices.

Sonnen last week announced that it has obtained pre-qualification to enter Germany’s Primary Control Reserve market by grid operator TenneT for its battery energy storage units installed across the country. Primary Control Reserve is a form of frequency regulation, keeping the grid to within acceptable boundaries of its optimum 50Hz operating frequency……….

If every solar home in Germany – there are around 1.5 million at present – was equipped with a SonnenBatterie, the power capacity would add up to 4.5GW, with an energy capacity of 15GWh. Such systems, connected to the virtual battery, or virtual power plant (VPP), could replace four large thermal power plants, equivalent to the entire capacity currently being used for PCR across the entire European continent.

The possibility for scaling up the model, in other words, “is one large step towards a clean and decentralised energy structure,” Ostermann said………

December 15, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, energy storage, Germany | Leave a comment

Cheap flexibility from storage, demand-side response and distributed renewable energy generation poses a “huge threat” to the nuclear industry

‘Cheap as chips’ flexibility poses ‘huge threat’ to nuclear, 12/10/2018  Cheap flexibility from storage, demand-side response and distributed generation poses a “huge threat” to the nuclear industry, according to former energy secretary Ed Davey.

 Tom Grimwood  Speaking at a conference held by Aurora Energy Research in London yesterday (11 October), Davey said the falling costs of such technologies raise “serious questions” about the government’s pursuit of new nuclear plants.“There’s no doubt storage and flexibility pose a huge threat to nuclear industry,” he told the audience.  “Nukes are expensive; take a hell of a long time to build. In ten years, where are we going to be with storage and flexibility?

“I think it’s going to be cheap as chips and have variations we don’t even know about today, because so much is evolving. The energy revolution is going apace.”

“That has to ask serious questions of the nuclear strategy which the government is pursuing”.

Davey hailed the government and Ofgem’s smart systems and flexibility plan as the “best thing” he’d seen in terms of policy since leaving office in 2015.

However, he added: “I don’t see much movement. And I’m not saying it’s because it’s easy… But we really need to be moving forward on that to give people better markets and contracts that are more investible… I think we could do a lot better.”

He continued: “If you had better policy you might be able to answer this question of do we keep a big centralised system, investing in lots of big centralised assets, or do we have more of a hybrid system.

“And we’ve gone to a hybrid system a little bit without thinking it all through but for good reasons. Solar took off much quicker than people thought, for example, and the capacity brought on peakers which weren’t really in the picture.

“We’ve now got that hybrid system and my worry is no one’s really thinking that through strategically.”

Davey also raised concerns over the influence of large generators on policy and regulatory decisions: “My worry is that the lobbying power of the big centralised generators… is a bit bigger than those of us who think a lot of the future is in the decentralised sector.

“If I have political message to people, it’s to really think that through because I think we’ve seen in some of the network code debates and elsewhere a politics which is very much in favour of centralised generators.”

Speaking to Utility Week in early 2017, the chief executive of UK Power Reserve, Tim Emrich, accused the Connection and Use of System panel of being unduly influenced by incumbents after the industry body recommended drastic cuts to the triad avoidance payments available to small-scale distributed generators.

The changes were approved by Ofgem later in the year

October 13, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised, energy storage | Leave a comment

France’s EDF to spend 8 billion euros ($9.8 billion) by 2035 on energy storage

Utility Dive 29th March 2018. French national utility EDF says it plans to spend 8 billion euros ($9.8
billion) by 2035 in a move to become “the European leader” in energy
storage. EDF’s goal is to develop 10 GW of storage around the world by that
same timeframe. The company already operates 5 GW of storage facilities. In
particular, EDF is targeting the residential sector in France and Europe
with a variety of self-consumption services that use batteries, as well as
Africa where the utility company hopes to develop a portfolio of 1.2
million off-grid customers by 2035 through local partnerships.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | energy storage, France | Leave a comment

France to make a huge investment in energy storage

French Nuclear Giant Gambles Big On Energy Storage , Forbes, William Pentland  

Forbes, Electricite de France said today that it plans to invest a whopping $9.93 billion in electricity storage by 2035.

“Electricity-storage technologies have a potential to radically change the energy sector,” said Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy.

The French utility company said on Tuesday that the planned investment would be used to develop an estimated 10 gigawatts of additional energy storage projects, or roughly twice the total amount of capacity it currently operates.

The utility said it would target energy storage projects in the European market, especially in France, but that it would also pursue opportunities in Africa, including battery storage and storage plus solar projects in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

Over the next two years, EDF said it would use roughly one third of its investment in energy storage to acquiring projects and start-up companies focused on energy storage projects and grid applications. A portion of the investment – about $87 million – will also be used to support research and development activities in the energy storage space. ……


March 28, 2018 Posted by | energy storage, France | Leave a comment

Australia claims world first: fully solar-powered train

World-first solar train now leaving the platform in Byron Bay with zero emissions, ABC North Coast , By Bruce Mackenzie, 17  Dec 17,  What is claimed to be the world’s first fully solar-powered train is operating on the New South Wales North Coast.

A refurbished 70-year-old ‘red rattler’ is running on a three-kilometre stretch of disused rail line at the popular tourist destination of Byron Bay.

It made its maiden trip yesterday with almost 100 passengers on board.

Electric bus solar system

The $4-million project is the brainchild of multi-millionaire businessman Brian Flannery, who owns a resort in the area.

“Hopefully it attracts people to Byron Bay,” Mr Flannery said.

“I think international tourists will come here to have a look at this world’s first solar train.

“So let’s see, in five years’ time they’ll probably still say I’m mad, but it’s a bit of fun.”

Tim Elderton, from the Lithgow Railway Workshop, was tasked with building curved solar panels and a battery system to power the train.

“Of course the major difference is it’s got solar panels on the roof so it can recharge itself.

“For those cloudy days we’ve also got 30 kilowatts of solar panels in this [station’s] roof here so we can also plug it in.

“On a sunny day like today we can do about four or five trips before we have to plug it in.”……..

Tram infrastructure a possibility

Longer trips than this one — 10 minutes to cover three kilometres or so — would require regular recharging stations along the route, but Mr Flannery said the technology might be suited to inner-city trams.

A lot of the tram networks of course have overhead wires and they’re electric but they’re powered off the grid from overhead,” he said.

“But in a case where you want to build a tramline without that infrastructure, I think you could.

“At various stations you could top the train [or tram] up.”

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes, decentralised, energy storage | Leave a comment

Surge in USA storage for renewable energy

U.S. Energy Storage Surges 46% Led by Big Project in Windy Texas By Brian Eckhouse 

 Power companies and developers added 41.8 megawatts of storage systems, including a 30-megawatt utility-scale project in Texas, according to a report Thursday from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association. California added 8.4 megawatts of residential and commercial systems. The industry installed 28.6 megawatts in the third quarter of 2016.

Driven by regulatory demands and sharp price declines, energy-storage is becoming more common. Prices for lithium-ion battery packs have fallen 24 percent from 2016 levels, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Utilities including Exelon Corp.Duke Energy Corp. and American Electric Power Co., meanwhile, are increasingly receptive to storage projects, which potentially will facilitate wider adoption of wind and solar power.

 GTM forecasts that 295 megawatts will be in operation in the U.S. by year-end, up 28 percent from 2016. And more is coming. GTM projects the U.S. energy-storage market will be worth $3.1 billion in 2022, a seven-fold increase from this year.
 “Energy storage is increasingly acknowledged in utilities’ long term resource planning across the country,” Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s director of energy storage, said in a statement.

December 7, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

Chinese government boosting storage capacity for renewable energy

China to boost energy storage capacity to fuel renewable power use, Reuters, OCTOBER 12, 2017 

 Reuters Staff, BEIJING,  – China aims to boost its large-scale energy storage capacity over the next decade, the government’s central planner said, in a major push to solve the problem of stranded power in the west of the country as Beijing promotes the use of more renewable power……..

October 14, 2017 Posted by | China, energy storage | Leave a comment

Puerto’s electrical system could be restored with solar panels and Tesla batteries – Elon Musk

Elon Musk says Tesla’s batteries could replace Puerto Rico’s electrical system   DANIELLE MUOIO  Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company’s batteries and solar panels could help restore electricity to Puerto Rico if residents and the government decide they want to pursue that option.

October 7, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

New energy storage technology – cheaper than lithium-ion batteries

Times 2nd Aug 2017, Google’s parent company Alphabet is turning to salt and antifreeze to
provide energy storage that could be cheaper than lithium-ion batteries.

The technology giant’s secretive X division is working on a way to store
energy from renewable sources that would otherwise be wasted because of the
time mismatch between supply and demand.

The system was designed by Robert Laughlin, a Nobel prize-winning physicist of Stanford University. It takes
in energy in the form of electricity and converts it into hot and cold air,
using a heat pump. These streams heat molten salt and cool the antifreeze
respectively. The process can be reversed to release the energy as the warm
and cold air meet, creating gusts that drive a turbine and feed power back
into the grid.

Scientists had already shown that the technology could store
energy. Alphabet’s engineers have designed a version that works at lower
temperatures, however, which reduces costs and makes it commercially

August 4, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

Battery storage means that solar and wind power could meet needs of growing electric car market

Telegraph 26th July 2017, Do we have enough power to deal with the growth in electric vehicles?
National Grid has warned that the boom in the number of people charging up
their cars could result in a surge in peak demand, requiring hundreds of
billions of pounds worth of investment in new power plants – unless the
electric vehicle revolution is properly managed.

In one scenario National Grid estimates that electric vehicles alone could cause peak power demand
to climb by 1.3 GW a year between 2025 and 2045. This would require the
UK’s shrinking generation capacity to grow by the equivalent of two large
gas-fired power units a year or one £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear plant
every three years. By 2030 the UK would need 8GW, almost three extra
Hinkley projects, to meet the need of drivers who choose to top up their
vehicles during peak hours.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to accommodate the charge-up demand which could cut the extra power needed by
more than half to a more manageable 3GW increase by the end of the next
decade while saving consumers money. Earlier this week Business Secretary
Greg Clarke fired the starting gun on a battery boom through a £246m
research and development competition, and a new plan to put home batteries
at the heart of its industrial strategy.

The support should help the electric vehicle drive, but also help the energy system to cope with the
higher demand caused by the fleet of new cars. A heady roll out of electric
vehicles is expected to drive the cost of battery storage down at an even
faster rate than expected, meaning drivers could be parking their electric
cars next to affordable home batteries, which are linked to cheap solar

Currently consumers are only able to use around 30pc of the power
generated by solar panels because their demand picks up once the sun is
setting. But the battery boom means energy users can store the unused solar
power generated during the day to charge their cars at night, saving money
and easing the pressure on the grid.

Major wind farms, including the giant Burbo Bank project off the Liverpool coast, are already connected to
batteries so that energy stored during windy nights can power homes when
demand lifts in the morning. Using renewable energy more effectively also
means costs will fall too. The shift in economics is expected to trigger a
deluge of fresh investment into renewable power projects, without the need
for subsidies. The cumulative impact of more renewable power – and better
use of it – could help meet the demand created by electric vehicles in the
first place.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, UK | Leave a comment

Complexity of electricity demand in UK , as electric car numbers rise

Guardian 13th July 2017,A dramatic growth in electric vehicles on Britain’s roads could see peak
electricity demand jump by more than the capacity of the Hinkley Point C
nuclear power station by 2030, according to National Grid.

The number of plug-in cars and vans could reach 9m by 2030, up from around 90,000 today,
said the company, which runs the UK’s national transmission networks for
electricity and gas.

The impact of charging so many cars’ batteries would
be to reverse the trend in recent years of falling electricity demand,
driven by energy efficiency measures such as better boilers.

National Gridacknowledged the cars’ batteries could also provide services andreturn
power for the grid at a time when managing the network is becoming
increasingly complex as variable sources of wind and solar power grow.

July 14, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, UK | Leave a comment

Energy Storage – South Australia to have the world’s largest lithium ion battery

 BBC 7th July 2017 An Australian state will install the world’s largest lithium ion battery in a “historic” deal with electric car firm Tesla and energy company Neoen.  The battery will protect South Australia from the kind of energy crisis
which famously blacked out the state, Premier Jay Weatherill said.

Tesla boss Elon Musk confirmed a much-publicised promise to build it within 100 days, or do it for free. The 100-megawatt (129 megawatt hour) battery should be ready this year.

July 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, energy storage | Leave a comment

Lithium use in batteries booming – need for recycling, and environmental protection

FT 7th July 2017, Tesla Motors and now Volvo may have big plans to end the addiction of drivers to fossil fuels via electric vehicles, however the environmental footprint of mining raw materials used in car batteries and their eventual disposal are emerging as a flash point.

As the mining sector presents a green face and extracts raw materials from lithium to cobalt and nickel
that constitute electric batteries, so the focus on their environmental standards and energy efficient production methods will intensify.

At the tail-end of the electric vehicle boom is the matter of improving the recycling of lithium-ion batteries and making sure the environmental impact is also contained.

To offset the environmental impact of mining there will have to be a large build out in recycling facilities to meet the first wave of electric vehicles, analysts say. Currently over 90 per cent of lead-acid
batteries used in conventional gasoline cars are recycled, versus less than 5 per cent of lithium-ion batteries. An estimated 11m tonnes of spent lithium-ion battery packs will be discarded between now and 2030, according to Canada-based Li-Cycle, a recycler of batteries.

July 8, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, energy storage | Leave a comment

Energy storage now making renewable energy cost competitive

Renew Economy 30th June 2017, Global research institute McKinsey & Company has analyzed current energy
storage prices and concluded that commercial customers are already feeling
the economic benefits of cheaper batteries and recent price falls in
lithium-ion technology.

With battery-pack costs now down to less than
$230/kWh – compared to around $1,000/kWh as recently as 2010 – storage
uptake is on the rise across Europe, Asia and the U.S. This growth is being
facilitated by a greater uptick in electric vehicle (EV) adoption, with
major players now scaling-up their lithium-ion manufacturing capacity in
order to meet demand.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, energy storage | Leave a comment