Much of the current movement to decarbonize the grid involves installing many gigawatts of battery-based energy storage. Lithium-ion technology is leading the way with breathtaking advances that are addressing everything from improved performance to strategies to mitigate the risk of fires. But the rapid development is causing numerous challenges.
The high demand for lithium-ion batteries has translated into shortages of lithium along with shortages of other essential commodities like copper, aluminum, nickel and cobalt. As we all learned in Market Economics 101, limited supply caused by high demand leads to high prices, market volatility and long lead times.