Mines worldwide extract more than 11.9 million metric tons of zinc annually. There are zinc mines in over 50 countries around the world, and while the metal plays a key role in the steel industry, few people understand its transformative role in the energy storage sector. When most people think of the metals that power today’s energy storage systems, vanadium and lithium are at front of mind.
However, one of the challenges to growing an energy storage industry is the dependency on a supply chain of hardware components, metals and chemicals many of which come from outside of North America. Metals such as lithium, vanadium, rare earths and cobalt used today in many energy storage batteries, are impacted by price volatility, security of supply and duration restrictions. On the other hand, those same risks do not apply to zinc energy flow batteries.