Smart grid boom swells Lithium ion demand 80 fold

A predicted boom in the use of smart grids is set to drive massive demand for lithium ion batteries.

While the batteries are already present in many consumer electric devices, IHS reckons that lithium ion storage systems will become commonplace.

In fact, revenues are set to rocket up to $5.98 billion by the end of the decade if the analyst house is correct. In comparison, revenues are expected to be at $72 million for 2012, meaning those in the know are stacking their chips on around an 80 fold increase.

Smart grids are able to provide computer monitored flow of energy both to and from a source, unlike regular grids which just send juice flowing one way. While there are applications for bigger businesses and large scale operators, what is more interesting is the ability for the home user to have their own smart grid.

With a continued move to small scale generation of energy through the use of photovoltaic cells this could see smart grids proliferate.

And, with the properties of lithium ion beneficial for energy storage in such applications, demand should soar.

One of the vital properties for smart grid energy storage is that the battery is easily rechargeable.  As lithium ion batteries are able to maintain full capacity even after a charge, this makes them well suited for long term use. 

Smart grids are seeing increased investment by big players at the moment.  The US has also tucked away a few billion for smart grid development.

In labs across the world, there are a multitude of improvements to the efficiency and performance of lithium ion cells.

It seems at least in smart grids, lithium ions are a good fit and here for the long-run.