Date: Sep 27, 2018

The recent success of lithium-ion batteries being deployed in increasing larger systems that are exceeding 1 GWh has brought to light the huge potential of the market for all types of battery technologies, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

The discussion around the energy storage space is heating up, with many market participants wondering which metals will be needed to supply increasing demand from this market.

According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the recent success of lithium-ion batteries in increasingly larger systems exceeding 1 GWh has brought to light the huge potential market for all types of battery technologies.

For many years, vanadium-flow batteries have been a favored technology to enter the energy storage space in a serious way, and the London-based firm forecasts that it could become a major player in the market, second to lithium-ion batteries.“If a vanadium battery producer steps forward with bold plans to produce vanadium flow at mass scale, giving the industry its ‘Elon Musk or lithium-ion moment,’ the potential for the technology to be the second-most-deployed energy storage system battery in the world is there,” Benchmark Managing Director Simon Moores told the Investing News Network (INN).

Vanadium-flow batteries are a viable option for large-scale storage because they are able to provide hundreds of megawatt hours at grid scale. That means they can be charged thousands of times without losing capacity, while holding large amounts of energy.

This type of battery makes sense where three conditions are met:

the energy storage systems needs to be big — more than 100 megawatts;
the system needs to provide power for relatively long durations — at least four hours;
the system must be used often — about once a day, every day.
“For awhile, the electricity grid didn’t need this kind of energy storage — natural gas power plants did just fine — but the rise of renewable energy and the desire for low-carbon electricity made flow batteries more attractive,” Tim Grejtak, energy storage analyst at Lux Research, told INN.

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