We must be conscious of batteries and renewables
Renewable energy sources are raising in the demand for battery store. Battery storage such as the Eaton Xstorage systems are used to store the kinetic energy the natural energy sources create, we can then utilise this later. For example, storing solar power from the daytime to use in the night when the power is not generated.
This is a risk to consider such as the new vast “super battery” which is set to be installed at the UK’s largest onshore wind farm where, it will store power generated by 215 turbines. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/uk-biggest-battery-glasgow-whitelee-wind-farm-a8953491.html
Lithium demand and cobalt mining:
We need to ensure with the rising level of renewables we consider the rising demand for lithium batteries, used to store renewable energy sources. Lithium batteries run the world we live in (Laptops/ phones/ cars). As we move forward with the renewable era, it is essential to consider ethical resource management for lithium and cobalt. More than 60 per cent of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chinese companies are running many of the country’s industrial mines using more than 35,000 children, some as young as six. They are risking their lives to mine cobalt for big electronic firms, many of which are likely to be aware of the appalling conditions they work in. Ensuring no use of the sources from the ‘Democratic Republic of Congo’, is one thing we need to ensure we consider with the raising demand of batteries.
Additionally, battery up-cycling needs to be handled correctly in order to manage waste, Eaton for example are a company who manage this in a large scale. For example recycling Nissan car batteries to light the Amsterdam stadium: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=BnJ-BJ1aZ6Q
The positives outweigh the negatives
At current, the dramatic positive impact that renewable energy will have on the environment will outweigh the negatives of the battery increases. We must however keep this in mind and ensure we mine cobalt ethically and we up-cycle/ recycle batteries wherever possible.
For further information, visit www.eversmartenergy.co.uk