THE International Energy Agency predicts that almost 50% of sub-Saharan Africa will rely on renewable energy sources by 2040.
While reliable energy will be critical for the continent’s economic growth, reliable battery storage will play an essential role for renewable energy to function properly.
That’s according to Murray Long, Managing Director of battery maker and energy solutions provider First National Battery, who said this is driving manufacturers to be more innovative.
“Lithium-ion is a powerful and reliable energy solution, and manufacturers are starting to recognise lithium-ion’s importance in energy storage,” he said, adding that this technology can give manufacturers a competitive edge, and at the same time, power up the lives of their customers and industries.
“Battery technology is changing, and soon a combination of energy systems will be the norm. It’s important for us to stay on top of the latest battery technology and deliver safe, efficient, affordable and reliable energy solutions to our customers.”
Long said lithium-ion technology means batteries can be manufactured to have a higher energy density than lead-acid batteries and charge at faster rates while requiring minimal maintenance and enjoying a longer battery cycle life.
“Lithium-ion technology is already used in applications such as laptops and electric and hybrid vehicles. Some of South Africa’s battery manufacturers are also testing lithium-ion to power forklift trucks.”
Although the uptake of electric vehicles in South Africa is slow, lithium-ion’s demand in the country is expected to increase in the next decade. He attributed this to increased demand for zero-emission vehicles, growth in renewable energy and the wide variety of applications that can use lithium-ion, including cells in energy storage.
“With South Africa’s unreliable grid that can cause hours of power cuts to households and industries, energy storage has never been more important, as it can provide an additional power source when needed most.
“And there’s no better way to keep energy storage powered up than with technology that can power batteries hundreds of times and not lose battery efficiency.”