The Importance of Batteries in Renewable Energy Transition

Batteries are crucial in the global economy transition with their ability to maintain a balance between supply and demand within the power system.

The key to decarbonize the world and fight climate change is electrification powered by renewables, which means electrification of cars (e-mobility), buildings and cities. Hence increased use of solar, wind, hydropower and other low-carbon technologies, such as electric cars, storage capacity, and usage of microgrids and smart grids are the way to shift to a green economy. Electrification can help stop global warming by eliminating greenhouse emissions from the environment. 

Out of all of the clean energy technologies, the focus today will be on batteries – a crucial source of power in the sustainable energy future. The article explains the importance and applications of batteries. We showcase product selection from RND, a brand that provides customers with a comprehensive electronic, electrical and maintenance range of products with value and at low price, and Hy-Line, offering innovative technologies at competitive pricing.

Battery energy storage systems – lithium-ion batteries

Due to the rising demand for clean energy technology like batteries, wind turbines, solar panels, or electric vehicles, it is predicted that the production of minerals like lithium, cobalt, and graphite would increase tremendously. Current technical advancements and initiatives to electrify the economy rely heavily on lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Due to their superior performance, efficiency, and safety compared to conventional batteries, lithium-ion batteries have become the preferred battery for the majority of electric cars.

The decarbonization of the transportation industry and increasing grid integration of intermittent renewable energy technologies are both made possible by batteries’ quick reaction, modular design, and adaptable installation. A cathode (positive electrode), an anode (negative electrode), and electrolyte serve as the conductors in lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are currently used in everything from mobile phones and computers to electric cars. They are far lighter, smaller, and better able to hold their charge than earlier forms of rechargeable batteries.

Furthermore, the costs of batteries are rapidly dropping around the globe. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), small-scale residential Li-ion battery prices, for instance, have decreased by more than 60% in Germany since late 2014.

Role of batteries in energy storage systems

Batteries enable utilities and grid operators to maintain the dependability of the electrical system by filling up the gaps left by the variable output of wind and solar power plants and preventing the waste of excess energy.

According to IRENA in addition to providing frequency response, reserve capacity, black-start capability (restoring an electric power system), and other grid functions, battery systems can also upgrade mini-grids, facilitate “self-consumption” of rooftop solar power, and store electricity in electric vehicles.

Home virtual battery energy storage with house photovoltaic solar panels plant, wind and rechargeable li-ion electricity backup. Electric car charging on renewable smart power island off-grid system.

Energy storage

The contribution of batteries to renewable energy is particularly important because solar and wind power are still variable sources that produce changing amounts of energy. When there is no wind, the sun is obscured by clouds or has set for the night, batteries can store electricity to still work. Batteries enable storing the energy collected earlier, and use it more economically.

As per European Commision, batteries, which are the storage technology with the quickest growth rate, will be essential to achieving the EU target of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Transportation (e-mobility)

The percentage of battery-powered vehicles is anticipated to increase significantly. Electric vehicles and the batteries that power them not only eliminate fossil fuels from our road vehicles but also increase the amount of intermittent renewable energy in grid systems. It is possible for the supply of renewable energy to outweigh the demand for grid electricity on days that are especially sunny or windy as batteries allow for the long-term storage of energy. 

Over the past two decades, lithium-ion is the most commonly used battery to charge electric vehicles. According to the World Economic Forum, the demand for lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles and energy storage has grown exponentially, from approximately 0.5 GWh in 2010 to almost 526 GWh a decade later. Read more about the most commonly used EV batteries here.

Electrification is a key to decarbonize transportation. Along with the 2030 Net Zero plans, the new light-duty vehicles should produce zero-emissions. However, not all nations set the same goals. Find out how the progress towards electrification of vehicles is happening in different countries by checking the 2022 Electric Vehicles Index.

Grid energy storage

Electric vehicles will not only be utilised for transportation but will also lower electricity costs for people who have purchased house rooftop solar panels, whether they be public, corporate, or individual investors. In fact, when electricity rates are high, electricity from parked automobiles’ batteries can be used for home purposes or even sold into the grid. Read more about Microgrids and their role in securing future energy autonomy.

Rechargeable Batteries

As one rechargeable battery can replace thousands of single-use batteries, rechargeables are quite effective at lowering carbon footprint. All batteries emit toxic elements like mercury, lead, and cadmium into the environment when they are disposed of in landfills, contaminating the soil and water. However rechargeable batteries are less harmful to the environment because fewer batteries are produced and end up in the waste stream.

RND Power range offers a wide range of power supplies, AC/DC inverters, chargers, batteries, and many more electronic items. For example, RND lead-acid batteries come in many sizes and voltages. Lead-acid batteries are also the most environmentally sustainable battery technology. The majority of them are made up of more than 90% recycled lead battery material, making it the energy storage technology with the lowest environmental impact.

Lead-Acid Batteries, RND

Battery Chargers, RND

Battery Charger, Lead-Acid, RND Power

Rechargeable Batteries, RND

The HY-Line batteries allow for monitoring of a variety of important battery parameters. The HY-Di batteries offer the consumer a cutting-edge way to monitor lithium-Ion battery packs from any location at any time online. It is possible to utilise SM- or CAN-bus, and the special HY-Di Battery Interface (HBI) using an internet browser to connect to the various HY-Di batteries via the internet. 

Li-Ion Smart Batteries, HY-Di, HY-Line

HY-Di Smart Battery Charger

The future of electrified world

Many people say that the future is electric. Undeniably, soon the world will be mostly or even fully charged electrically. Therefore, with this growing demand for batteries, there should be some plans to cut costs so that the world produces enough batteries and electric technologies. The way to achieve this is finding how to reduce the amount of metals in batteries that are expensive, difficult to obtain, or problematic because their mining has a negative impact on the environment. And to shift towards the green transition society should focus on recycling, therefore improved battery recycling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are batteries important for renewable energy?

The main way to store renewable energy is in batteries. But apparently, battery development has fallen behind improvements in wind and solar power, even though without batteries these technologies work with limited efficiency. Batteries enable utility providers to gather extra electricity and store it for periods when the weather is worse.

What role do batteries play in the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power?

In the use of renewable energy sources, batteries enable utility providers to gather extra electricity and store it for periods when the solar panels and wind turbines are not working the most efficiently (sun is not shining or wind is not blowing).

Why are batteries crucial in the transition to an energy system with net zero carbon emissions?

Transition to a greener future will focus on renewables. And most renewable energy sources use battery energy. Batteries are becoming a crucial component of the sustainable transportation of the future because of advancements in battery technology. Furthermore, the power stored in these mobile batteries can be utilised to both power your home and provide grid stabilisation.

What batteries are used in renewable energy?

At the moment, most common are Lead-acid and lithium-ion deep-cycle batteries. They are the two most important solutions for storing renewable energy.

Why is battery technology so important for the creation of electric cars?

Electric cars rely on batteries to work. Electric vehicles are more sustainable because of the battery, which frees them from reliance on fossil fuels. A battery for an electric vehicle is an energy accumulator that stores electricity for delivery to an engine using either alternating or continuous current.

What batteries are used in electric cars?

Lithium-ion batteries are typically seen in plug-in hybrids and all-electric automobiles. All-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and hybrid electric vehicles require energy storage technologies, most often batteries (HEVs).

How batteries store energy?

A battery is a type of energy container that stores chemical energy to be converted later to electrical energy. One or more electrochemical cells can be found in every battery. Chemical reactions occur inside of such cells, causing an electron flow in a circuit. This generates electric current.

How is battery energy harnessed?

Battery is an apparatus that stores chemical energy and transforms it into electrical energy. Electrons move from one substance (electrode) to another through an external circuit during chemical reactions in batteries. An electric current can be created by the flow of electrons and employed to perform tasks.

Are batteries a renewable energy source?

Even though battery corrosion releases chemicals that contaminate groundwater and surface water as well as soil, the rechargeable batteries can be utilised repeatedly. It means that the energy in rechargeable batteries is thus sustainably sourced, as one rechargeable battery can replace thousands of single-use batteries, rechargeables are quite effective at lowering your carbon footprint.

Are batteries recycled?

Typical single-use or rechargeable batteries, such as button and lithium batteries, can be recycled, however access to recycling facilities might not be available everywhere. Some batteries are recycled more frequently than others. Nearly 90% of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. 

Are lead-acid batteries sustainable?

Due to their closed life cycle and multiple reusability, lead-acid batteries are sustainable. A used automobile battery is delivered to an authorised recycler, where all of its parts are recovered, recycled, and sold to battery producers. Certainly, the battery in the user’s vehicle has been and will continue to be recycled indefinitely thanks to the cradle-to-cradle cycle. Note that if incorrectly disposed of, lead acid batteries could be dangerous to both human health and the environment.

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