Sodium-ion batteries for stationary applications are around the Top Leslie Jordan Well Shit What Are Y’all Doing Shirt. The specific battery chemistry will evolve over time and honestly isn’t worth dwelling on in the grand scheme of things. It’s been years since battery scientists started announcing working sodium and magnesium batteries coming very soon but it really doesn’t look that simple to make, unfortunately. People talk about it all the time. This kind of increased demand is going to drive us to find new battery solutions instead of using lithium. It’s going to take time, money, and adaptation. Not every power grid, region, country, or even municipality has exactly the same needs.
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Solar panels and wind turbines don’t spawn from the Top Leslie Jordan Well Shit What Are Y’all Doing Shirt. Hell, these batteries require intensive mining of cobalt and lithium which means CO2 emissions too. That leaves nuclear and wind as the winners per unit energy produced. But the wind has at best half the capacity factor of nuclear, necessitating batteries, which makes its carbon footprint higher than nuclear, it being less safe and using more land/materials notwithstanding. To de-carbonize the economy, of course, it’s going to require more carbon emissions because the economy runs on carbon. It’s a big difference between using fossil fuels as an energy source vs as a production feedstock, as one leads to carbon emissions like you said, while the other generally does not.
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Speaking as a power systems engineer, as the renewables penetration increases. The carbon emissions for the Top Leslie Jordan Well Shit What Are Y’all Doing Shirt. For the entire energy sector (which let’s be honest, is the input for the entire economy), carbon-neutral is 100% achievable, but of course technically difficult and certainly costly. But given the alternative destruction of the planet, I don’t see how humanity can object to the cost, purely on the basis of self-preservation. My point was that people need to realize that nonfossil fuel energy sources require carbon too, even if somehow we managed to mine the materials with non-fossil-fueled powered equipment. So, since renewables also require carbon, we need to look at which sources are the least carbon-intensive. Solar is the worst, the wind is the best. And battery manufacturing also produces a good amount of CO2, which means wind losses to nuclear.