Vanadium is more stable, more reliable, and longer lasting than lithium – and it could become the go-to metal for the $19 billion energy storage market.
And one company is positioning itself as the first – and perhaps only – vanadium mine in the United States.
Lithium has been one of the most enduring stories in the market.
Tesla’s Giga-factory has made lithium a household word among investors…
As increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries, in the US and around the globe, is driving a huge increase in lithium prices.
Yet, despite the headlines, there’s a “new” metal on the block… an alternative to lithium few investors know about – yet.
It’s more stable, and longer lasting than lithium… and thanks to changes happening in the worlds power grids… it’s expected to see a massive increase in demand.
It’s element 23 on the periodic table – vanadium.
And this little-known metal could be replacing lithium as the go-to resource for the growing $19 billion energy storage market.
Vanadium is proving itself vastly superior to lithium for storing massive amounts of electricity.
The timing for United Battery Metals’ couldn’t be better.
90% of the world’s vanadium is used in steel manufacturing – a small amount of vanadium can double the strength of the alloy…
And demand for vanadium around the globe is sending prices skyrocketing.
The price of the metal has soared 550% since September 2016.
In fact, as noted in The Economist, vanadium prices are out-pacing other metals, such as copper, nickel and cobalt.
And United Battery Metals is positioning itself perfectly to become the first US-based miner of this new super-metal.
United Battery Metals Corp’s flagship property – the Wray Mesa project – is located within the vanadium-rich Uravan Mineral Belt in the Colorado Plateau in western most Colorado and eastern Utah.
Current resource estimates put the company’s vanadium deposits at 1,626,000 lbs.
And that estimate is expected to become even larger.
Because the company has just announced additional acquisitions… properties that more than triple the size of their holdings.
The original Wray Mesa property included 45 claims, totaling 900 acres.
The newly-acquired claims include more than 90 claims in Utah and an additional 17 claims in Colorado…
Bringing the total land package to more than 3,000 acres, all of it 100% held by UBM.
There are several reasons why vanadium should continue out-performing for the foreseeable future…
And why United Battery Metals should be seriously considered for any investor looking to capitalize on THE future of energy and power around the globe.
The Vanadium Redox Flow Battery – or VRFB – is changing the face of renewable energy.
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The market for advance energy storage systems is expected to hit $19 billion by 2022.
Spending on renewable energy resources – like wind and solar – is growing by leaps and bounds.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
“In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, about $297 billion was spent on renewables—more than twice the $143 billion spent on new nuclear, coal, gas and fuel oil power plants, according to the IEA.
The Paris-based organization projects renewables will make up 56% of net generating capacity added through 2025.”
Data from Bloomberg’s New Energy Outlook shows the world will invest $10.2 trillion in new power generating technology between now and 2040…
And three-quarters of that will be spent on renewables – like solar and wind.
And these technologies are getting cheaper as well.
The cost of wind turbines is down by a third – and solar modules have dropped by 80%.
Lower prices are making renewables competitive with traditional energy generation, like coal, natural gas, and nuclear.
Demand for Grid-Scale Batteries is Increasing Exponentially
Look at the figures:
Between 2007 and 2017, wind and solar generation grew a massive 431%…
And this growth is likely to continue for decades.
As the IEA reported, power generated by renewable energy could represent more than half of all electrical generation by 2025.
In the United States, the move to renewables is ramping up.
California is promising to be 100% renewable energy by 2045. Massachusetts has bills proposing to be 100% renewable by 2035
Hawaii is looking to be totally renewable by 2040
Across the US, power companies are ramping up their commitments to renewable energy sources.
- Consumers Energy in Michigan plans to be 40% renewable energy by 2040
- National Grid in the Northeast is looking to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050
- Xcel Energy, servicing the Midwest plans to generate 40% of its power from renewables by 2021… by 2030, 60%
- Ameren of Missouri is looking to increase wind power by 700 Megawatts by 2020… and boost solar production to 50 mw by 2025
- Duke Energy in the Southeast and Midwest is targeting a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030
- Southern California Edison plans to be 80% solar, wind, hydro power by 2030… on its way to 100% renewable by 2040
- American Electric Power in the Southeast and Midwest… MidAmerican Energy in Iowa… DTE Energy in Michigan… First Energy in the Mid Atlantic… all plan to reduce carbon emissions 80-95% by 2050
And all this non-traditional, renewable energy is creating a massive demand for energy storage.
Eight countries are leading the energy storage revolution – the US, China, Japan, India, Germany, the UK, Australia and South Korea. The 8 countries will account for 70% of total installed power capacity.
This chart shows the massive increase in energy storage requirements around the globe.
Global cumulative storage deployments
China – home to most of the world’s supply of vanadium – has built the world’s largest vanadium flow battery gigafactory in Dalian… when completed, it will churn out massively powerful batteries, in the 200MW-800MWh range.
As global demand for energy storage continues to increase – demand for safe, reliable battery solutions will put even more pressure on an already tight vanadium market.
And as demand increases – United Battery Metals’ mines will be the first, and perhaps only, US-source for vanadium in the US.
When it comes to large-scale grid storage… vanadium batteries are vastly superior to any lithium-based battery system in the market.
The lifespan for lithium ion batteries is too short for grid-scale energy storage. Lithium batteries degrade significantly over a short amount of time. And that degradation can be accelerated by temperature conditions. Too hot or too cold, and the battery loses capacity faster.
Its life-span is also affected by how often it goes through the discharge/recharge cycle. It’s been reported that the storage capacity of lithium ion cells can drop by half after only 1,200-1,500 cycles.
Vanadium-based systems can operate virtually forever. The low-cost, rechargeable electrolyte used in vanadium systems never wears out – and the plastic tanks that contain the electrolyte will last for decades.
The vanadium redox flow batteries can cycle through discharging and recharging more than 10,000 times – and still maintain 90% of its original capacity over 20 years.
Lithium battery systems are strictly one-trick ponies – they can only do one thing at time: they can either be recharging, or discharging – but never both at once.
Vanadium flow batteries can be charged, and discharged, simultaneously. Meaning that while the battery is absorbing energy from the sun, or the wind turbines, or even the grid – it can also be supplying power to homes or factories at the same time.
Vanadium Flow Boasts Superior Design for Grid-Scale Power
Lithium batteries store their energy in solid-state cells – where charged ions travel between positive and negative electrodes. This design makes lithium great for consumer products, like cell phones and laptops – even electric vehicles. But when you scale up to grid-sized applications, you’re talking massive batteries. And the bigger you have to make them, the more these batteries will cost.
Vanadium flow batteries unique design make them ideal for grid-scale energy storage. Flow batteries are based on two liquid electrolytes – positive and negative – stored in separate tanks.
When active, the electrolyte flows from one tank out through the system, and then back to same tank.
This design makes it especially easy to build large-scale, grid-sized batteries – to increase capacity, simply make the tank bigger.
And Vanadium redox batteries can be stacked in arrays, offering ever-larger storage capacity and more power efficiencies.
The heavier lithium systems make battery-stacking prohibitive.
The design of both batteries brings up another important reason vanadium flow batteries are far superior for large scale energy storage…
SAFETY: Vanadium beats lithium-ion
Lithium ion batteries tend to run hot. So hot, in fact, they can experience what’s known as “thermal runaway reactions” – the battery generating more heat than it can dissipate.
When that happens – lithium batteries can catch fire… even blow up.
You may recall the string of cell phones and laptops spontaneously bursting into flames a short while ago. Those were all problems with the lithium batteries.
For large scale applications – such as buildings, factories, and power grids – the potential for fire becomes even greater.
Any breach in the integrity of lithium ion cell can result in the escape of volatile gases.
According to a joint safety report from DNV-GL, the Norwegian industrial safety firm, and Consolidated Edison: “The flammable gases generated from (Li-ion) batteries are the main source of explosion risk”.
Compared to lithium systems, vanadium flow systems are infinitely safer. The electrolyte is non-flammable, and in flow battery systems, any deviation in normal operation causes a shut-down in the system – significantly reducing the risk. As reported by Energy Response Solutions, an electrical safety training organization, “Vanadium Redox flow battery systems do not represent the same fire or deflagration risk as Li-ion…”
The First US-Based Source of Vanadium
There is no US based source for vanadium… and no active vanadium mining operations in the US.
Increasing demand for energy storage capacity – combined with an extremely tight vanadium market due to steel production – means United Battery Metals could be bringing a desperately needed new supply of vanadium to market – as demand continues to peak.
For investors interested in the potential for explosive gains from this lithium “alternative”, United Battery Metals (OTCBB: UBMCF CSE: UBM) – as the USA’s first vanadium mine – deserves a spot on their “stocks to watch” list.
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