February 26, 2021, 11 am CST
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The continued success of renewable energy industries depends on their integration with cost-effective energy storage. Due to this need and falling prices of lithium-ion batteries, the nation’s energy storage market is booming. However, energy storage costs remain prohibitively high for many potential customers.Additionally, due to the problematic impacts of battery manufacturing, life cycle analyses of new lithium-ion batteries for stationary energy storage suggest the batteries deliver slim to no environmental benefits despite decreasing dependence on natural gas-fired power plants to balance electricity supply and demand.
Meanwhile, the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is well underway, but what happens to their batteries when vehicles are retired? Unfortunately, battery recycling costs typically exceed $1000 per EV battery pack. However, recycling costs can be deferred for eight years or more by repurposing the batteries to create “second-life” stationary energy storage systems which are more affordable and more sustainable than new battery alternatives.
Ryan Barr is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of RePurpose Energy, where he leads engagement with existing and prospective customers, vendors, and other partners. Ryan believes battery reuse will be a critical enabler of the transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles. He led RePurpose Energy to win the Grand Prize in the UC Berkeley’s Big Ideas Contest and a National Finalist award in the Cleantech Open accelerator program. Ryan has also worked at the California Independent System Operator on the design and implementation of new energy storage policies and at KPMG as a management consultant for electric utility clients. Ryan holds an MS in Energy Systems from the University of California, Davis and a BS in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.