Sustainable battery value chain is a significant step in mitigation of climate change
The Climate Week 2019 NYC has hosted wide ranging discussion on actions contributing to accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement. Development of European battery value chain is one of the central actions enabling reaching the targets.
Electricity production and transportation are among the most important drivers contributing to global warming. Development combined with large-scale implementation of battery value chain will, however, provide novel solutions for mitigating climate change.
Electrification of transportation helps significantly in reducing CO2 emissions from transportation, concludes a recent study published by Finnish Minerals Group. In the best case, 10 GWh battery cell production in Finland could cut CO2 emissions from transportation with up to 2 million tons CO2 annually.
Sustainable battery value chain, based on circular economy, is one of the major drivers to realise greenhouse gas emission reduction in the transport and power sectors globally, states World Economic Forum in a report published during the Climate Week. European Commission, on the other hand, sees batteries and energy storage as excellent examples of possibilities to combine environmental aspects with improved economic competitiveness.
”Climate change rattles the world and encourages us to develop new solutions to cut greenhouse emissions. In Finland, we have an opportunity to build on our strengths and develop domestic and European battery value chain that will provide us both new jobs and export possibilities. Production of precursors and cathode active materials as well as battery cells, along with recycling, are natural extensions to the current Finnish value chain,” says Vesa Koivisto, Senior Vice President responsible for battery operations in Finnish Minerals Group.
Following the EU-level carbon emission regulations, the European car industry is highly committed to electric vehicles, leading to growth in the demand of lithium-ion batteries. Production of required intermediate chemicals, battery materials and components as close to the raw material sources as possible by using low-emission energy, will support the carbon footprint reduction from battery and vehicle production. Carbon emissions deriving from energy production are significantly lower in Finland compared to many European countries where energy production relies heavily on coal and gas.
In addition to electrifying transportation, battery technologies will offer possibilities for carbon emission reductions also through enabling increased integration of renewable, intermittent power sources, such as wind and solar power, to the electricity grid.
Furthermore, batteries can help bringing electricity within reach of the hundreds of millions of people in under-developed regions who still have no access to electricity.