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  • Writer's pictureJohn Davis

Promising Prospects for Vanadium Flow Battery Technology

Bloomberg's 2024 Energy Transition Report Highlights Promising Prospects for Vanadium Flow Battery Technology

Bloomberg's annual 'Energy Transition Investment Trends' report for 2024 showcases a robust growth in global investments in energy transition technologies. While renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) continue to dominate the sector, it is noteworthy that energy storage, especially vanadium flow batteries, has emerged as a key player. This article explores the report's findings and sheds light on the increasing relevance of vanadium flow battery technology in the context of global energy transition efforts.

Record-breaking Investments

According to Bloomberg's report, the total investment in energy transition technologies hit an all-time high of $1.77 trillion in 2023, representing a remarkable 17% increase from the previous year. Electric transport, including EVs, accounted for the largest share of investments, reaching US$634 billion. Notably, renewable energy closely followed, with $623 billion invested during the same period. However, in terms of growth rate, energy storage witnessed a substantial jump, with investments increasing by 76% to reach $36 billion.

Vanadium Flow Batteries and Energy Storage

Although the investment in energy storage may seem relatively small in comparison to other technologies, the observed 76% increase highlights its growing significance. Notably, investments in energy storage surpassed those in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage combined. This development underscores the perception that energy storage technologies, including vanadium flow batteries, are increasingly seen as vital tools to support the growth of renewables and facilitate a stable and reliable energy grid.

Meeting Net Zero Commitments

BloombergNEF used the Paris Agreement's net zero commitments as a reference point for estimating future investment requirements from 2024 to 2030. The report emphasizes the urgent need to accelerate investments in energy storage, with annual spending reaching approximately $93 billion over the next decade. Similarly, renewable energy investments need to more than double, averaging $1,317 billion per year, to meet the climate goals set by the Paris Agreement.

Power Grids and Battery Value Chain

In addition to energy storage, power grids emerged as a key area requiring significant investment. The report suggests that to meet the targets set by the Paris Accord, annualized spending on power grids should more than double to reach US$700 billion. Furthermore, the analysis highlights the vital role played by battery value chains in enabling electrified transport and energy storage technologies. Specifically, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, including vanadium flow batteries, are expected to dominate battery supply, making up approximately 70% of clean energy supply chain spending.

Supply Chain and Battery Metals

BloombergNEF's report indicates that the current level of investment in the supply chain is above what is required to achieve net zero by 2050. Nevertheless, attention needs to be focused on the battery value chain and the supply of critical battery metals such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel. These metals are projected to account for 20% of total supply chain spending commitments, reflecting an increase from 11% in 2023. Notably, the lead times of announced projects suggest that this figure is likely to rise to 18% by 2026.

Bloomberg's 2024 'Energy Transition Investment Trends' report showcases the increasing global focus on energy transition technologies. Energy storage, including vanadium flow battery technology, is gaining significant traction. As investments in energy storage and battery value chains surge, there is a clear recognition of the pivotal role these technologies play in achieving a net zero future. By enabling the integration of renewables and providing stability to the power grid, vanadium flow battery technology promises to play a vital role in the global energy transition.


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