The heart of the modern economy is undeniably powered by electricity. To meet the energy demands of a rapidly growing global economy, there is an intense need to scale up renewable energy production. Here’s why the modern economy needs batteries and energy storage.

A strong emphasis on the development of electromobility requires reliable energy storage solutions, and the key is batteries with high capacity, low weight and high charging speed. There are many types of lithium-ion batteries available, differing in the type of cathode, anode or electrolyte, and work on their improvement is ongoing. The advantage of li-ion batteries is low weight and charging speed, the disadvantages are critical raw materials, which, depending on the technology, include lithium, cobalt, nickel or manganese. Today, the demand for li-ion batteries exceeds global production capabilities.

In the coming years, renewable energy sources will play an increasingly important role in the energy mix of many countries. The electrification of industry requires to store renewable energy during production peaks and energy storage batteries must be characterized by high capacity, high current density, the ability to scale depending on needs, and the ability to store electricity for a relatively long time without losses. Due to their stationary nature, weight is irrelevant. The solution may be redox flow batteries, in which two electrolytes are separated by a membrane that allows the flow of ions and, consequently, the flow of electric current. The size and shape of the cell determines the power of the battery, and the capacity depends on the size of the tanks. Stability, scalability, long service life of flow cells, as well as the use of non-critical raw materials are their main advantages. The most developed are vanadium-based flow batteries, but work is underway to use electrolytes based on non-critical metals and organic electrolytes.

The search for sustainable energy practices will be incomplete without considering the challenges of weather dependence and storage. The development of efficient weather prediction models is crucial to the success of electrification and creating a more reliable and efficient energy ecosystem.

Energy storage is one of the most innovative industries of our time. From advances in battery technology to the integration of artificial intelligence in grid management, the search for more efficient and sustainable energy storage solutions is driving breakthrough innovation.
Here are examples of innovations supported by EIT InnoEnergy

Rivus Batteries (Sweden) – long-term energy storage using flow batteries

The Batteries (Poland) – thin-film lithium-ion batteries that outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries

Verkor (France) – battery systems maintain maximum energy density thanks to modern integration.

Mikolaj Budzanowski
Boryszew Green Energy & Gas