Do We Have Enough Sustainable Resources to Power the Future?

July 3-5, 2023, were widely reported as the hottest days in recorded human history. They likely will not be the last. As global temperatures soar and the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, it is critical to accelerate the transition to sustainable sources of energy. 

But does the world have enough sustainable resources to power the future? And can they be sourced in a way that is not environmentally destructive?

Over the past few years, many countries have accelerated the pivot towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power. The International Energy Agency (IEA) called 2023 a banner year for renewables, noting that global renewable capacity additions “are set to soar to more than 440 GW in 2023, the largest absolute increase ever.” This indicates that a substantial portion of future energy needs can be met through sustainable resources. However, with quickly rising temperatures, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says annual renewable power must triple by 2030 to remain within the 1.5℉ climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Both identify challenges to meeting that goal, including physical infrastructure, government policy, as well as institutional and workforce capabilities.

Let’s look more closely at the potential of current renewable energy technology. 

Solar power is one of the most abundant and widely available sources of renewable energy. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface in just one hour is sufficient to meet global energy demands for an entire year.  Advancements in solar technology and decreasing costs of photovoltaic panels make solar power increasingly viable as a sustainable resource. 

Wind power is another promising energy resource. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) announced in June that the world has surpassed 1 terawatt of global installed capacity. Expanding wind power infrastructure and continued research and development efforts hold the key to harnessing this vast source of renewable energy. This is as more countries are encountering NIMBY pushback from some communities.

Hydropower, generated from flowing or falling water, has long been utilized as a sustainable energy resource. But concerns over environmental impact, including habitat disruption and greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs, necessitate careful planning and management of hydropower projects.

Geothermal energy taps into the Earth’s natural heat, offering a consistent and reliable source of renewable power. The US Energy Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the U.S. leads the world in geothermal energy production, but that accounts for less than one-half of 1% of U.S. utility-scale electricity generation. Its widespread potential, particularly in areas with active geothermal reservoirs, presents a significant opportunity for sustainable energy production.

with all of these energy sources, there is an overarching challenge: storing and disseminating the energy produced. 

Lithium-ion batteries have become the preferred choice for grid-scale energy storage, renewable energy integration and electric vehicles, among other uses. But lithium reserves are limited, and current methods for extracting and processing lithium are expensive and environmentally impactful. 

EnergyX is leading the way in making the lithium supply chain cheaper, sustainable, and more accessible with its patented and proven Direct Lithium Extraction methods and its new generation of safer, longer-lasting and faster-charging lithium batteries

Our work safely and sustainably processes lithium from “Brine to Battery.” Eventually, our direct lithium extraction technology will replace the outdated methods of evaporation ponds. And our new batteries will make current lithium-ion batteries obsolete. EnergyX has developed proprietary electrolyte technology for low-cost lithium metal anode rechargeable batteries. 

Solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal energy are critical to meeting the world’s current and future energy needs. However, whether it is for grid-scale energy storage, residential solar systems, or powering electric vehicles, lithium-based energy storage technologies are essential for maximizing the utilization of renewable energy, enhancing grid stability, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and mitigating the impacts of climate change. With our ongoing research and innovation across the lithium supply chain, EnergyX is delivering technology crucial to the widespread adoption of renewable energy and achieving a sustainable and resilient energy ecosystem.