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Editor's Blog

Buzzwords aplenty

25/11/2019

'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.

 

European deal signals a boost for Pb

European battery maker Monbat is out to dispel any doubts about the prospects for lead battery technology in the near future.

Boris turns to bulldog spirit to recharge battery innovation

Just a few weeks ago, Jaguar Land Rover said it was accelerating investment in EV production in the UK and called on the government to help jump start “giga-scale” battery production.

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… 

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.

 

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