The fundamental challenge of the 21st century that mankind has to face is definitely energy supply, its storage and conversion in a way that necessarily protects the environment. For 250 years, the tremendous development of humanity has been founded on the harnessing of fossil fuels (coal, crude oil then natural gas) as primary energy due to their high energy density values and the easiness of access. However, this global pattern of energy supply and use is unsustainable. Global warming and finite fossil-fuel supplies call for a radical change in the energy mix to favour renewable energy sources. Without being exhaustive, we tackle in this article the tricky energy question and associated environmental issues as personally perceived. The eminent role of electric energy produced from decarbonized sources in a future sustainable economy is particularly highlighted as well as the issues of its needed storage. The possible and foreseen hindrances of electrochemical energy storage devices, focusing on the lithium-ion technology, are presented in parallel with the possible pathways to make such a technology greener in synergy with the rise of a biomass-based industry.
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