Researchers at the University of Wyoming have uncovered a massive deposit of lithium in the south western region of the state while investigating the possibility of storing CO2. Experts estimate that the area could contain up to 18 million tons, or the equivalent of 720 years of total worldwide production.
As lithium-ion batteries increasingly become the dominant battery type for high-end electronics and electric vehicles, this find could make a considerable impact on the battery industry. The United States imports the majority of its lithium and the metal’s relative scarcity has impacted the costs of electronics and motivated the development of battery recycling initiatives to recover lithium from retired batteries.
NRG Expert Analyst Edgar van der Meer noted that “this development, if the reserve proves to be as rich as estimates indicate, could not only impact the price of lithium but also the economics of battery production and possibly even technological development down the line. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this.”
For more information on energy storage, have a look at the NRG Expert Energy Storage Report.