People are excited about batteries, from electric cars to Tesla’s 129 megawatt-hour energy storage project in South Australia. But one important issue is often overlooked: the raw materials needed to build this technology – where they come from and their environmental cost. New types of batteries such as vanadium “flow batteries” still lag in comparison with the performance of lithium-ion ones (as used by Tesla). Other technologies face significant hurdles before they can be commercially available. This means that, for now, demand for lithium-ion batteries for use in portable electronics, hybrid vehicles and electric tools will only grow. Lithium demand for batteries is forecast to increase dramatically, driving more than a doubling in total lithium demand by 2025.
Renew Economy 31st July 2017 read more »