Although they’re being touted as the perfect energy storage medium for electric cars, lithium ion batteries, in the form they exist today, are not as good for grid energy storage applications.
Dr. Fabio La Mantia from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum – Germany is going to develop an aqueous lithium ion battery adapted perfectly for the electrical grid.
La Mantia will start the project in March and will be backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 1,424,000 Euros over five years.
Because the overall energy consumption is expected to go as high as 25 terawatts by 2050, alternative energy will play a huge role in the overall energy mix of the future. And because alternative energy sources like solar or wind are intermittent, they need buffering all the time – this is the battle between the various types of batteries and storage methods.
The winner will surely be the most financially attractive, but my guess is that there will be more than one winner, since there’s a wide variety of needs to which perfectly suited solutions have to be found. Batteries are only one of them.