Better batteries are crucial to a global low carbon transition, whether it is to improve the range of electric cars or store electricity generated by solar panels and wind farms.
But the challenge faced by those trying to develop cost effective batteries with ever greater power density has to date been limited by both chemistry and economics. For example, the lithium used in the vast majority of batteries is commonly deemed too expensive for applications larger than personal devices, while researchers have struggled for decades to work out how to stop batteries losing their effectiveness over time.
However, in the hills of Nevada a revolution could be brewing with the potential to reshape the entire energy storage market. Under the soil is vanadium – an element that promises cheaper, more powerful, and longer lasting batteries for 10MW grid-scale projects or, when combined with lithium, cars, or electrical appliances.
Vancouver-based American Vanadium is hoping it will start producing significant quantities of vanadium at the site – the only deposit in America – in 2016 to dovetail with the exponential growth forecast in an advanced battery market, which Navigant Research already valued at $10.8bn in 2012. — Full Story at businessGreen —