A Surge in Battery Mobility

Prime Tek, Sodium ion battery, Lithium ion battery, Renewable energy, AI, Innovative technology,

One key ‘downside’ to renewable energy over fossil fuels is that sources of renewable energy (for instance solar) are not always available. However, that is where energy storages (batteries) come in. Energy storage is important if we are going to make a sustainable switch from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy.

The growth in the battery technology industry is essential to the integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid of a nation and to maintaining grid stability.  For one, Batteries are a necessity as renewable energy sources like solar and wind are intermittent so this stored energy can be used when production is low ensuring a sustainable energy supply. Batteries can also provide a quick response energy source, especially in situations where the renewable energy source is uncertain. In the ultimate goal of decarbonizing electricity grids, batteries help maximize the usage of renewable energy and the gradual shift from fossil fuels.

Talking about decarbonization, sodium-ion batteries are a preferred option compared to lithium-ion batteries as they are more environmentally friendly.  According to Jean-Marie Tarascon, an expert on battery technologies, from the College of France, “Sodium-ion technology is a clone of lithium-ion technology”. He however said that recent interest in sodium ion batteries is a result of environmental concerns over the sustainability of lithium and its shipping process. Sodium is a better option as it is 1000 more abundant and more cost-friendly. Other benefits include the fact that it has high power, fast charging, and low-temperature operation.

There are however some downsides to sodium-ion batteries. They have a lower energy density than lithium-ion batteries. In real-life scenarios, this means that your sodium-powered car will have a lower driving range than its lithium-powered counterparts on a single charge.

However, an expert from the University of Chicago, Shirley Meng, thinks that with the latest developments in sodium-ion-powered products, the best sodium-ion batteries will work as well as lithium-ion ones in less than 10 years.

Top players in the battery industries have been improving their game in sodium battery production. BYD announced earlier this year that it is building a new sodium-ion battery facility in Xuzhou, China. The new facility is projected to deliver an annual capacity of 30 GWh. Sodium ion batteries are currently at a crossroads point and investors’ interest will play a decisive role in its fate. According to IDTechEx’s market analysis in November 2023, the sodium battery industry might grow by 40 GWh or more by 2030 with an additional 100 GWh of manufacturing capacity depending on the market success rate they have by 2025.

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