By mid-decade, the global renewable energy market will reach a combined total of $1.5 trillion. This will be an enormous increase; in 2019, renewable energy powered the equivalent of 43.5 million homes in the US. In that year, solar and wind power had $18.7 and $14 billion in respective investments. They generated hundreds of thousands of jobs each. By 2025, they could employ millions of people.
While governments around the world are offering incentives, a large part of growth is demand driven. In America, 71% of citizens think clean energy should be prioritized and nearly half of consumers are willing to pay more per month to get electricity from a renewable source. Additionally, 58% think renewable energy will improve the economy.
How will the renewable energy industry address growing demand? To do so, they will need a better battery. The current system of net metering (in which residential solar users sell excess power to their utility companies) is set to be phased out by new regulations. Residential solar will not be financially viable going forward without a power storage system, one that lets homeowners use energy captured in the day at any time.
Unfortunately, the current batteries are all lithium-ion. Invented in 1912, modern lithium-ion batteries vary little from their century-old ancestors. They fuel everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. By 2022, lithium-ion batteries are expected to fuel 61% of demand for renewable energy; however, they have several limitations that make them a poor choice for the green future. Lithium ion batteries degrade quickly, are difficult to recycle, and can contaminate the water supply with toxic chemicals in extraction, production, and disposal. While they may still be useful for mobile applications, long-duration, energy-intensive, stationary devices should look for alternatives.
That alternative? Vanadium flow batteries. With 25+ years of useful life, vanadium flow batteries can fully charge and discharge throughout their lifetime.
Furthermore, 100% of electrolyte is reusable in a new battery and recycled vanadium retains full functionality, making it a sustainable choice for batteries. Vanadium flow batteries are the hack energy companies need to power the future.