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An Environmental and Economic Analysis of The Near Future of Lithium Ion Batteries

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Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to

Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to keep up pace. This drive is due mostly to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles; sales of electric vehicles in 2020 are more than double what they were only a year prior. With such staggering growth it is important to understand how lithium is sourced and what that means for the environment. Will production even be capable of meeting the demand as more industries make use of this valuable element? How will the environmental impact of lithium affect growth? This thesis attempts to answer these questions as the world looks to a decade of rapid growth for lithium ion batteries.

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2021-05

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A techno-commercial assessment of residential and bulk battery energy storage

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Battery energy storage has shown a lot of potential in the recent past to be effective in various grid services due to its near instantaneous ramp rates and modularity. This thesis aims to determine the commercial viability of customer premises

Battery energy storage has shown a lot of potential in the recent past to be effective in various grid services due to its near instantaneous ramp rates and modularity. This thesis aims to determine the commercial viability of customer premises and substation sited battery energy storage systems. Five different types of services have been analyzed considering current market pricing of Lithium-ion batteries and power conditioning equipment. Energy Storage Valuation Tool 3.0 (Beta) has been used to exclusively determine the value of energy storage in the services analyzed. The results indicate that on the residential level, Lithium-ion battery energy storage may not be a cost beneficial option for retail tariff management or demand charge management as only 20-30% of the initial investment is recovered at the end of 15 year plant life. SRP's two retail Time-of-Use price plans E-21 and E-26 were analyzed in respect of their ability to increase returns from storage compared to those with flat pricing. It was observed that without a coupled PV component, E-21 was more suitable for customer premises energy storage, however, its revenue stream reduces with addition to PV. On the grid scale, however, with carefully chosen service hierarchy such as distribution investment deferral, spinning or balancing reserve support, the initial investment can be recovered to an extent of about 50-70%. The study done here is specific to Salt River Project inputs and data. Results for all the services analyzed are highly location specific and are only indicative of the overall viability and returns from them.

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2013