The world is showing a desire to move away from a fossil fuel-based energy storage medium for transportation and reliable grid energy. As a result, the energy storage market is developing at an incredible rate. With our hands on a wealth of strategic minerals, a well-developed automotive sector and great renewable energy production opportunities, South Africa has everything to gain from an active participation in this multi trillion-dollar industry. However, the true value of our minerals will be unlocked through local production of energy storage devices. By just exporting minerals and importing the refined goods, we are missing the boat.
The presentation "Energy Storage - Now and in the Future" will provide an overview of the energy storage landscape, how much humanity depends on energy storage, the need to change to a sustainable use of energy, current applications of energy storage and the future trends for the automotive industry and grid storage. The discussion of the current energy storage landscape will highlight some obvious identified energy storage applications, and will also focus on available, feasible alternatives to Lithium-based batteries, showing that the old adage of “horses for courses” also applies to the renewable energy ecosystem.
Prof Ben Bladergroen
Vice Chair IAHE Young Division
Head of Energy Storage Innovation Lab
Deputy Director South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry
University of the Western Cape