10 February 2021 - By Dr Alistair Davidson

All battery technologies need nurturing for Europe’s clean energy future

All battery technologies need nurturing for Europe’s clean energy future

Europe has made a significant leap forward in battery technology through a commitment to battery research and investment, solidifying the role of batteries for a low carbon future. 

The EU can be the centre for the most advanced batteries and the most advanced recycling and re-use of battery technologies if all battery technologies are nurtured to foster innovation.

These were the resounding messages from an EU Industry Days event co-organised by EASE and Batteries Europe on 9 February called Developing the Batteries of the Future: Actions to Take Today.

CBI echoes these sentiments. As Claudia Gamon, MEP and member of Renew Europe said: “Our battery industry can be a pioneer in this world”, and we would wholeheartedly agree. 

With leading capability in manufacturing, recycling and research, Europe’s advanced lead battery industry is ticking the boxes for the high-performing, sustainable, safe and cost-effective batteries needed for Europe’s electrification and decarbonisation goals. 

The panel, made up of figures involved across Europe’s battery industry from the Commission to manufacturers, acknowledged the lead battery’s golden example of circular economy in action, and a blueprint for other technologies to follow. 

Europe is a big focus for the work of CBI. Despite its long history, I shared with event attendees that there is a surprising amount not yet known about lead battery technology, and CBI’s research program is uncovering the untapped potential within.

This year will see the launch of a suite of technical research projects under the banner of energy storage launched through our technical program. Working with European research institutes and battery manufacturers, the synergies fostered through the work of the Consortium are ensuring advanced lead batteries continue to innovate to meet future demand.

But we need the support of Europe’s officials to ensure that all technologies are nurtured in decision-making for investment and research. 

A key discussion during the EASE event was around safety. The unrivalled safety record of lead means it is an essential technology helping the transition to clean energy and clean mobility. 

When thinking of energy storage, we tend to think only of uses such as utility grid-scale storage and frequency regulation, or community-based microgrids utilizing renewable energy.

But, as Edel Sheridan from Batteries Europe ETIP noted, fast-charging of electric vehicles is a very important area of research for low carbon aims. And lead batteries are meeting this need for EV energy storage through promising projects both in Europe and the United States.  

Europe is well on the way to becoming the first carbon-neutral continent, and with different technologies competing and providing different services, Europe’s diverse battery landscape should continue to be supported to ensure the goals for 2050 are reached. 

By Dr Alistair Davidson

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