Lithium ion batteries are becoming increasingly cheaper. Since 2010, lithium ion battery prices have dropped 80% and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysts have predicted that it will drop another 66% in the next 12 years.
The greatest impact this will have is on solar and wind energy. The largest problem that these renewable energies have faced is that there are moments where there is no sunlight or no wind. This is resolved by storing extra energy into large lithium ion batteries.
Respectively, the cost of creating solar plants is due to fall 71% by 2050. While coal provides 38% of the energy supply worldwide today, it will fall dramatically to 11% in 2050, even while it will be holding strong in some countries.
Seb Henbest, BNEF’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and lead author of the report, added, “The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar, so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing markets for coal, gas and nuclear.”
Keep an eye out for significant breakthroughs in other technologies such as carbon capture, fuel cells and nuclear reinvestment. These technologies need more research, funding and better design before they can be deployed at large-scale.