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Deputy Editor's Blog

Buzzwords aplenty


'End-of-life', 'circular economy' and 'second-life' are new buzzwords that we are all becoming familiar with as the sustainability agenda marches relentlessly on. Whether it’s new developments in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries or the acknowledgment and desire to remedy the informal recycling of lead-acid batteries, there are positive signs that the energy storage industry is up to the task. 

In a world that is increasingly dependent on, and needy of, energy storage there is no doubt batteries have a major part to play— whether it’s for EVs or renewable storage. There are new moves afoot to combine chemistries so that more versatile battery storage solutions can be developed, as power management innovator Chris Hale elaborates in the Autumn 2019 issue of our magazine.

It is incumbent on all within the industry to play a part. Whether it’s issuing a call-to-arms by highlighting a problem or shouting a victory cry for successes unveiled. 

To this end, we spoke to American Manganese on how they have made a breakthrough in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. We anticipate this will be the first of many. And in our report from the Secondary Lead Conference in Bali we find the industry making positive steps in controlling the pollution from lead smelting. This is a multi-pronged attack with new technologies, new processes and containerised plug-and-play solutions all having a part to play.

Every little helps in the greening of industry and technical editor Dr Mike McDonagh summarises two years of research that shows how a simple item, like a connector, can be the source of great energy savings, or losses, in battery formation.

With a little foresight, rather than from the pain of hindsight, we can learn from the lessons of others and show that we can build a better future for the next generation. It will require people of principle, monitoring the industry and a desire for action in ways that may appear unpopular. 

A cartoon on our office wall says: when you point a finger at someone, remember, there are three fingers pointing back at you. If you have any comments then let us know.


Alevo: The Apple of energy storage?

Picture the scene. Six hundred invited guests are attending the launch of an unknown Swiss firm boldly claiming to be ‘redefining energy’ in a virtually empty and rather shabby former cigarette factory in North Carolina.

Energy storage: Not ready for prime time (yet)

For obvious reasons, BEST is a keen supporter of energy storage. All the predictions are for installations of grid and domestic energy storage to experience huge growth over the next decade – read any of those rather tiresome reports by Frost & Sullivan, Navigant et al for more detailed crystal ball-gazing.

Trouble ahead for lead?

To say the lead-acid battery R&D is not the best funded sector of the electrochemistry industry is a great understatement. For those not aware, the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) is one of the leading (perhaps only) driving forces for lead-acid battery industry research.

It’s easy as AABC

Britain is currently experiencing its worst floods for 60 years after the wettest January on record and naturally, being human, the hunt is on for scapegoats.

Politicians, of course, have been under fire for the country being under water.

Behind-the-meter energy storage: A new scheme?

Batteries & Energy Storage Technology visited San Diego for NAATBatt 2014 (National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries).

The future is electric but is it 48V?

Changing the voltage level of electrical systems in cars is not an easy task. In fact, it is a real pain in the backside.

UK energy storage competition: Far too little, far too late

After months of delay, the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) finally announced the winners of its Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition on 4 November.

The two winners are:

Energy storage – regulation, regulation, regulation


BEST has been in Amsterdam for the European Utility Week conference & exhibition. Until 2012, the show was known as Metering & Billing Europe and, frankly, was not worthy of the short hop across the North Sea from BESTmag Towers.

Germany aims for unlikely fuel cell domination


Not content with being the world’s leading exporter of cars many people lust after – be they Mercedes, BMW or Audi - Germany now wants to be an exportweltmeister in fuel cell cars and fuel cells.

The aging beauty and the younger woman

If there was a tagline for the 15th Asian Battery Conference (ABC15) in Singapore, it could only have been 'Lead Ain't Dead'.  Yes, it's a tired cliche but the lead-acid battery industry is feeling just a little bit touchy these days.

ABC15 is, of course, very much a lead-acid battery show but it didn’t stop many speakers disparaging lithium-ion by highlighting its shortcomings compared to lead-acid, be it higher cost, thermal runaway issues or the perceived problems of recycling.