In the big, exciting future of renewable energy, batteries are enabling mass electrification across many sectors.
The rapid development in batteries has ensured burgeoning interest from electric-vehicle makers and consumer-electronics manufacturers. Even from the energy industry, for enormous stationary storage systems operating on the power grid.
Companies such as Samsung are developing next-generation batteries that could accelerate the transition.
Researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) decided to remove the lithium metal anodes used in solid-state batteries and replace them with a thin silver-carbon layer. It’s those lithium-metal anodes that cause issues with the batteries.
The researchers say that using silver carbon instead of lithium metal in a prototype pouch yields a battery with a higher capacity, lengthens the cycle life, and makes the battery safer.
The pouch that the team created would give an EV a range of about 500 miles and have a lifecycle of more than 1000 recharges.
It will be years before any battery breakthroughs reach the mass market.
But it’s already virtually certain that the rising demand for more powerful batteries will be exponential.
There’s one caveat, the only way the demand can be met is only possible if the materials used to make batteries—primarily silver—are also supplied adequately.
These curves will become steeper in the decade ahead.
The silver supply has been consistently declining. Total silver production declined from 26,500 tonnes/year in 2019 to 25,000 tonnes/year in 2020.
Industrial demand will rise 9% from 2020 to a four-year high of 510 million ounces, it said.
On the other hand, demand is expected to rise 9% this year.
Electrification has become a key theme for automakers in the US and Europe. While it was barely mentioned a decade ago, company executives are increasingly talking up batteries and electric vehicles to investors.
The rapid increase of battery demand is playing a crucial role in opening up new markets for silver.
The time to invest in silver is now. Don’t wait until these new generation batters hit the market and demand peaked.
Buy now while it is still low.