Tech giant IBM has teamed up with battery maker LG Chem, the Ford Motor Company and others to use blockchain technology “to trace and validate ethically-sourced materials” for batteries and other products.
The group, which includes Chinese mining firm Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and auditing specialist RCS Global, is starting with a pilot focused on cobalt sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The move comes amid increasing pressure on electric vehicle producers and their battery suppliers to ensure an ethical approach for procuring raw materials— and hot on the heels of another ‘sustainable cobalt’ initiative launched by South Korea’s Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics, Germany’s BMW and chemicals group BASF.
Cheaper battery storage systems are less than 20 years away from becoming a "competitive" alternative to oil and gas-fired peaking plants, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) study.
The cost of battery storage is projected to “decline fast” by 2040 and global BESS capacity could reach 220 giagwatts by 2040, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018 said.
This would see batteries "increasingly compete with gas-fired peaking plants to manage short-run fluctuations in supply and demand"— with the scenario’s projected need for global peaking capacity set to increase by three-quarters compared to 2017.
South Korean firms Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics are teaming up with German car giant BMW and chemicals group BASF for a joint pilot cobalt mining project to “enhance sustainable mining” for batteries production.
The companies have signed a contract with the German overseas development support agency— Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)— to launch the pilot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In a carefully worded swipe at the European Chemicals Agency (ECA), Eurometaux’s Chris Herron (pictured) has warned of the need for pragmatism with regard to the battery industry— when it comes to creating a low-carbon European future with batteries at the very centre of things.