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Countries that account for half of the world’s lithium reserves will open the door to battery storage

Chile has 10.3 million tons of lithium reserves, most of which are located in the Atacama Desert in the north; the region has the highest solar radiation on Earth and therefore has perfect solar power generation conditions. The development of the photovoltaic market and the implementation of the energy storage system will enable Chile to rise in the field of renewable energy. So what is the future of battery energy storage systems in Chile?

Chile is ambitious in terms of renewable energy and carbon neutrality. At the end of 2017, the presidential candidate (current head of state) Piniella promised to use 100% clean energy to power the national grid during the campaign. In June this year, he promised to make Chile the first carbon-neutral developing country.

To achieve this goal, the Chilean government and corporate sector have invested heavily in renewable energy. By December 2018, the country's clean energy accounted for 18% of the total energy structure, which was only two percentage points lower than the previously set target of 20% in 2025. It can be said that the clean energy development process was greatly advanced.

In fact, pumped storage is by far the most common energy storage method in the country, and it is also the world's largest energy storage method. However, with the use of renewable energy, it is necessary to install a more reliable energy storage system. It is known that most of Chile's renewable energy comes from solar and wind energy, both of which are clearly intermittent, making frequency regulation, balancing power generation and demand more difficult, so this situation inevitably needs to be utilized. More efficient energy storage system.

Aware of this, Chile began implementing a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to manage its energy reserves more efficiently as renewable energy continues to grow. Currently, several projects on energy storage are already in operation. An energy company called AES Gener decided to develop the first battery energy storage system project in Chile and throughout Latin America. Today, the company has installed three in the Antofagasta region of the Atacama Desert. Energy storage system with a total capacity of 52 MW/13 MWh, two of which are located next to the Cochrane and Angamos power plants (20 MW each) and the third at the Andean substation (12 MW) .

An expert from the University of Chile said: "In this context, the realization of lithium-based battery-based energy storage systems can help alleviate the inherent instability and unpredictability of these resources, ensuring a smooth transition to the current national system. Regulated renewable energy systems.

Northern Chile is rich in two natural resources that are vital to the development of clean energy: lithium and sunlight. The Atacama salt flats are 2,305 m above sea level and cover an area of nearly 3,000 km2. They are the third largest salt lake in the world after the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia (10582 km2) and the Great Salt Flats (6000 km2) in Argentina. . Only the region accounts for 25% of the world's lithium reserves. In fact, Chile has half of the world's lithium reserves. The country is also one of the world's two largest lithium exporters, with annual exports second only to Australia.

Lithium metal has been used to make batteries since the 1990s, but it was not used in the energy field until the beginning of this century. Chile's first lithium-ion battery energy storage project uses domestic lithium, which will enhance the country's status as a metal producer. Most of the value of lithium-ion batteries in Chile is related to renewable resources. Because lithium is a major component of energy storage systems, Chile, as a producer of lithium, has good trade prospects, enabling the country to form a storage value chain. portion.

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