(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Lithium — White Gold of Energy Storage

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Lithium — White Gold of Energy Storage


Lithium — White Gold of Energy Storage

  • At the 2022 Conference of Parties-27(COP-27) the participating members spelled out time-bound objectives of achieving zero-emission in order to arrest the global warming below 1.50 C above the pre-industrial revolution era. While a number of European countries have set it at 2050, China and India have opted for 2060 and 2070 respectively.

Key objectives: 

  • The objective can be met by considerably reducing the green-house gas emission, particularly through the replacement of carbon-intensive fossil fuels that now meet around 70% of our energy needs, by various green sources of which lithium-ion battery is considered as a most promising one. 
  • Developed in the 1950s, the lithium-ion battery has now begun to make its presence felt in several fields like medicine, electronics, space, computer, artificial intelligence, communication and recently transport as well.
  • In 2022, electric vehicle (Evs), powered by lithium-ion batteries accounted for 14% of global passenger vehicle sales, which is expected to reach 25-36% by the year 2030.
  • The adoption of lithium-ion battery is also accelerating in India, with the market projected to register a compound annual growth rate of 23.7% by 2028.
  • It will help advance the Indian government’s ambitious plan of 30% EV penetration of public cars, 70% commercial vehicles and 80% for two and three-wheelers by 2030 for the automobile industry. However, our manufacturing capacity of lithium-ion battery has remained limited and we still depend on import of certain important parts.


  • However, India has broken new ground in the lithium-ion battery game with the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO’s) Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre having developed lithium-ion-cells for use in satellites and launch vehicles. It has decided to transfer the technology to manufacturers to set up facilities for producing these cells in the country.
  • One of the major obstacles in expanding the industry of lithium-ion batteries (or cells) is the limited availability of the metal. According to the US Geological Survey, at present (2022) the total identified or inferred resources of lithium globally stand at about 98 million tonnes and the countries having the major deposits are Bolivia (21 million tonnes), Argentina (20 million tonnes), the US (12 million tonnes), Chile (11 million tonnes) and Germany (3.2 million tonnes). 

Way forward:

  • However, the resources from which the metal can be accessed are pegged at a mere 22 million tonnes only, with countries like Chile (9.2 million tonnes), Australia (5.7 million tonnes), Argentina (2.2 million tonnes), Portugal (1.5 million tonnes), China (1.5 million tonnes) and the US (0.8 million tonnes) leading the list.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter