Powering The Future: Battery Power Trends
In times when technological advancements happen every second, it’s hard to imagine an industry that has gone untouched by the tech revolution.
And energy — batteries in particular — is going through a renaissance very quickly due to the new opportunities presented by the innovation waves hitting the market. Throughout my experience working with various companies — from startups developing new energy efficiency solutions like batteries, to behemoth companies pushing innovation in their respective spaces — I have noticed a large shift globally in how innovation has been transforming various industries. And energy is not an exception to this rule.
Increasingly and unexpectedly, the small devices that powered our phones or computers only a few years ago have the capacity to power cars and even buildings today. And it’s not just the size-to-power ratio that has been changing — the sources of energy have been dramatically changing too.
According to UBS (via CNBC), energy storage costs will fall between 66% and 80% over the next decade, while the energy market will grow to $426 billion around the world. As renewable sources become cheaper and help ensure less damage to the environment, new-age batteries could become the solution to a smooth transition from fossil-driven fuels to renewable sources with a focus on solar and wind energy.
Not only is there a massive shift toward more sustainable, cleaner energy sources in general, but there also seems to be an improved capacity for energy storage and an introduction of more effective techniques with the goal to gradually, fully eliminate the need for natural gas.
Among the new applications of batteries are the electric vehicles that have increased in popularity recently. Tesla announced it would release a luxury electric sports car in 2006 — milestones ahead of the other players in the field that were still playing with the idea of hybrid models that partially relied on renewable energy but still kept the element of traditional energy supplies. But as the energy market shifts, so could consumer expectations and, thus, the priorities of these companies.
According to the International Energy Agency, the “global electric car fleet exceeded 5.1 million” in 2018. That’s still a very small portion of the 1-billion-plus cars projected to be on the road as of 2015, but the number could keep growing. Moreover, BloombergNEF estimates that 57% of new passenger cars sold will be electric by the year 2040.
Electric cars are not the only tools fueled by the new age of batteries; I believe this new generation of batteries is on the way to becoming the latest innovation in energy storage and could completely eliminate the need for fossil fuel in the near future. Tesla is one of the first companies to introduce solar energy and storage batteries known as Powerwall batteries, which could reinvent the home energy market and allow customers to store energy under their roofs.