Africa Development Energy Environment

Is the rise of EV an additional reason to develop solar?

Key Points :

  • Over the last decade a surge in lithium-ion battery production has led to an 85% decline in prices, making electric vehicles and energy storage commercially viable for the first time in history.
  • Batteries hold the key to transitioning away from fossil fuel dependence and are set to play a greater role in the coming decade.
  • General Estimates shows that over the next ten years the energy storage market in the could grow to as much as 1 trillion worldwide with the USA and China Leading, and there are many ways to buy into the surge, including chemical companies, battery cell makers, car companies, solar companies, and utility companies.
  • “Capturing the massive economic opportunity underlying the shift to controls and battery-based energy systems require that planners, policymakers, regulators, and investors take an ecosystem approach to developing these markets,” sustainability- Over the last ten years, a surge in lithium-ion battery production drove down prices to the point that — for the first time in history — electric vehicles became commercially viable from the standpoint of both cost and performance. The next step, and what will define the next decade, is utility-scale storage.

As the immediacy of the climate crisis becomes ever more apparent, batteries hold the key to transitioning to a renewable-fueled world. Solar and wind are and will play a greater role in power generation, but without effective energy storage techniques, natural gas and coal are needed for times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t howling. And so large scale storage is instrumental if society is to shift away from a world dependent on fossil-fuel.

General estimations are that over the next decade energy storage costs will fall between 66% and 80% and that the market will grow to as much as $1 Trillion worldwide. Along the way, entire ecosystems will grow and develop to support a new age of battery-powered electricity, and the effects will be felt throughout society. Changing electrical grid If electric vehicles grow faster than expected, peak oil demand could be reached sooner than expected, for instance, while more green-generated power will alter the makeup of the electricity grid.

Read More: New photovoltaic solar power plant in Mogadishu, Somalia

The growing energy storage market offers no shortage of investment opportunities, especially as governments come up with subsidies and regulations to assist the move towards clean energy. But like other highly competitive markets — such as the semiconductor space in the 1990s — the battery space hasn’t always provided the best return for investors. A number of battery companies have gone bankrupt, underlining the fact that a society-altering product might not reward shareholders “Capturing the massive economic opportunity underlying the shift to controls and battery-based energy systems” requires that not only planners, policymakers and regulators but investors “take an ecosystem approach to develop these markets,”

“Over the past decades, this development [lithium-ion batteries] has progressed rapidly, and we can expect many more important discoveries to come in battery technology,”

“These future breakthroughs will undoubtedly lead to further improvements in our lives, not only for our convenience, but also with respect to global and local environments and, ultimately, the sustainability of our entire planet.” As consumer tastes have shifted over the last decade, and as regulatory oversight increases — especially in Europe — automakers have had to keep up.

Virtually all automakers now offer or plan to offer fully electric — or, at the very least — hybrid car models. In November Ford unveiled it’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E which is part of the company’s $11 billion plan to develop 40 all-electric and hybrid models by 2022, and in March Volkswagen increases its electric vehicle goal to 70 new models by 2028 up from a prior target of 50.

“Although the concept of electric vehicles is not new, what is different in this automotive cycle is the availability of reliable and low-cost batteries that possess excellent energy and power capabilities in a practical form factor,”

The next step: utility-scale storage The biggest potential market for energy storage is not individual consumers, however, but massive utility companies. Put simply, the way the electric grid typically operates at present is that power used is generated just moments before. There’s not a lot of inventory, so supply and demand must be in balance at all times.

But as battery prices fall, more and more utility companies are integrating lithium-ion batteries into their systems. At the moment, they’re primarily used to replace what’s known as peaker plants — plants typically powered by natural gas that is only used at times of peak demand. They’re also beginning to replace diesel generators in places that have continuous power requirements, such as hospitals. Government incentives and falling solar and wind costs are also accelerating the viability of energy storage.

“10 years ago batteries were aspirational as far as a solution to higher penetration of renewable energy in the electric grid, and today I think you can see a line of sight over the next 10 years to that aspiration becoming a reality,” In Conclusion For renewables to claim a more sizable share of the global energy mix, the adoption of energy storage would need to pick up pace and the rapidly increasing size of the EV fleet will offer a scalable way to ramp up such access The case for electric vehicles (EVs) is getting stronger, as they are seen not only as a cleaner and cheaper means of transportation but also as a source of battery storage that could step up the integration of intermittent wind and solar generation.

According to reports– EVs will be the largest source of battery storage over the coming decade in key renewables markets. Reports are painting a bright picture for EV uptake, noting that leveraging a two-way flow of electricity from electric vehicles to balance power supply and demand could become a key component of global efforts to introduce renewables to the power mix. wind and solar will be the key drivers of renewables growth over the next decade – with the sectors making up 51% and 28% of renewables generation in 2027, respectively. However, by that date, predictions are that non-hydro renewables will still only comprise around 13% of the power mix, up from 9% this year.

These figures could be boosted by EV battery storage, which could reduce reliance on carbon-emitting baseload and peak power generation plants. Uptake forecast The Uptake forecasts are that the EV fleet will number 25 million vehicles by 2027, of which battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will make up 17 million and plug-in-hybrids (PHEVs) 8 million.

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