Energy Storage – Opportunities and Risks

For decades, accumulators and batteries of all sizes, chemical compositions (lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, mercury, lithium ion/, …) have been produced for a variety of purposes in industrialized countries and consumed in developing and emerging countries. Flashlights, radios, mopeds and motorcycles, cars and trucks, electricity storage for remote areas and since the beginning of the new millennium also increasingly batteries for solar systems, mini grids for power supply.

With the increase in the use of renewable energy resources and e-mobility, a cost degression of lithium-ion batteries will allow their use as energy storage in power grids and vehicles. In addition to cheap lithium, nickel, cobalt and other recyclables are often contained in smaller quantities in batteries, but their recycling only pays off in larger quantities. The transport must be carried as dangerous goods and the handling of Li-ion batteries is quite dangerous.

In addition to or instead of deposit systems, the Circular Economy offers battery leasing or leasing solutions that are now also possible in poorer economies with the help of modern technologies. Think tanks such as the African Center for Economic Transformation are already addressing the opportunities for Ghana and Africa and are on their way to seeing the circular economy as a development opportunity.