In contrast to the linear economic model that has existed since industrialization, the concept of the circular economy aims to reduce negative environmental impacts. Amid the growing debate about the compatibility of increasing consumption with the Earth’s finite resources, calls are getting louder for a system that minimizes losses. This concept is of great interest for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), not least as production of the batteries is expected to increase exponentially, given its key role transforming the mobility sector. To date, there is no established business model showing what to do with LIBs that have reached the end of their useful life. This blog post wants to explore the potential of of circular economy models for lithium-ion batteries, looking in particular at its current use in Germany. Philip Emmerich has the details.
In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement of 2015, the European Commission has set the long-term goal that EU Member States should be climate neutral by 2050. The energy sector must be transformed to keep the temperature rise well below 2°C. Renewable energy supply, combined with energy efficiency and the electrification of heat and transport, is seen as the key to reducing energy-related CO2 emissions by over 90 per cent compared to 1990. Part of the strategy implemented by the German Federal Government for tackling climate change is to further decentralize the electricity distribution system by 2050. This is reshaping the role of Distribution System Operators (DSOs). Philip Emmerich reports how smart grid technologies are disrupting the energy sector and challenging the business of DSOs in Germany.