Enlit Europe - The Guide: Season 3 June 2021 - A Just Transition - Page 16

Matt Harper argues for a move away from lithium-ion batteries

STORAGE FACES ITS OWN TRANSITION

Matt Harper argues for a move away from lithium-ion batteries

Since the dawn of civilization , human progress has relied on exploiting our natural resources . Coal , oil and gas became the bedrock of our societies ’ supply of energy , rapidly improving our standard of living .
Too often , though , those benefits were delivered at the cost of mounting economic and environmental inequality .
The rise of renewables presents an opportunity to reshape our societies in a fairer way .
The concept of a just transition was formed with that in mind : to protect biodiversity and combat climate change by shifting towards sustainable production models which will prioritise the needs of the communities that will bear the brunt of climate change .
As the renewable energy industry embarks on this revolutionary mission , we must learn the lessons of the past .
Most importantly , we must look at the emerging energy landscape from all angles , to ensure that its benefits are shared broadly without creating new and unexpected challenges as we disrupt existing industries and build new ones .
It is essential that we dramatically scale up clean energy sources such as wind and solar to reach climate goals and limit global warming to below 2 ° C . But relying on intermittent renewable energy risks a future electricity system that depends on more polluting , more expensive fuel-based generation to provide power when the sky is dark and the air is still .
Energy storage systems are thus a key component of a truly renewable-powered future , delivering clean power to our homes and business as needed with no incremental emissions .
The amount of energy storage serving the grid is set to grow by a third every year to 2030 as countries increasingly look to generate ‘ dispatchable ’ renewable energy to help meet ambitious carbon reduction targets .
However , current approaches to energy storage have created a playing field tailored for lithium-
16