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Editor's Blog

John Shepherd

Energy-starved Africa is a prime market for the massive deployment of battery energy storage technology


According to the International Energy Agency, some 600 million people across the continent have no access to electricity… So, as BEST Battery Briefing reports, the multi-million euro cash boost for South African Pb firm Elektron Energy, to develop its bipolar battery tech, should be welcomed.

Interestingly, Elektron’s grant is derived in part from European Union funding. To date, EU battery R&D funding has been wedded to lithium-ion, so finally prising some cash out of the bloc for advanced lead technology is a revelation.

The lead industry should take note and press for more, especially as latest figures indicate the lead-acid market in Africa alone is expected to be worth more than US$1 billion by 2021.

Meanwhile, Germany’s BMZ Group has launched a tie-up with forklift firm Kion to extend lithium’s reach into the lucrative industrial trucks market within and beyond Europe.

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Can Jaguar steer UK's battery ambitions into the fast lane?

In a world mired in endless reports of economic gloom, Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement that it is to invest heavily in EV production in the UK is welcome news. 


Battery tigers show their stripes— and won’t be tamed

If there was any doubt that, in a gloomy global economic outlook, China might ease up on its frenetic pace to be a dominating force in the world’s EV battery market, think again.

Pb2019 Madrid: Transparency takes bull by the horns

Nobody likes to see their dirty laundry washed in public— airing uncomfortable issues before one and all. Few major organisations have the courage to open their doors and invite potentially critical voices inside.

Squaring the circle of sustainability

Just how much good will we do by expanding the number of battery-powered vehicles on the world’s roads? The answer is ‘not much at all’ without some serious planning, if new advice from UK scientists is to be believed.


Batteries charging ahead with a positive jolt for the markets

It’s an upbeat battery industry world we report on over the past week— despite gloomy markets. But optimism does not wait on facts it deals with prospects. So said the late American political journalist and professor Norman Cousins.

Supply chain deal boost for Europe in a materials world

Umicore's deal to acquire cobalt refining and cathode prescursor activities in Finland— as reported in the latest edition of BEST Battery Briefing— is a key milestone along the path to securing the materials Europe will need to establish a 'home grown' battery industry.


Is it a ‘Fannie and Freddie’ moment for lithium technology in the US?

Safety concerns are top of the battery agenda again, as we reveal regulators' fears that the currently unexplained explosion at a grid-scale BESS plant in Arizona could trigger a review of safety standards. This could in turn spill over into the US residential storage market.


Has UK shot itself in the foot as starting pistol is fired in giga race?

The race to the gigafactory finishing line in Europe is now well and truly under way, but who will be first or could it be a photo finish?


Digging into deep pockets to strike battery gold

It's going to take deep pockets to get Europe's fledgling Battery Alliance firing on all cylinders, so the EU is bringing in some heavy financial hitters to shore up the investment needed to secure a raw materials supply chain— one of the top stories in the latest edition of our BEST Battery Briefing e-newsletter has revealed.


Lead-acid picks up rhythm in New Orleans

The mood music for this week’s gathering of the lead-acid faithful at Battery Council International’s annual convention, this year in New Orleans, promises to be upbeat.