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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.

 

EU energy chief’s about-face on lead?

At last, after months of lobbying, has the EU’s energy chief seen the light and is he now willing to level the playing field for lead-acid and lithium?

More cash to keep 'lithium dream' afloat as lead is left to tread water

It’s been a year this week since the EU launched its Batteries Alliance to challenge Asia’s dominance of the European lithium battery market. But after months of talking and little concrete action— other than conspiring to kill off lead-acid— the EU’s energy chief now wants to splash more taxpayers’ cash to 'make' things happen. Nothing of course to do with his bid to take over as European Commission president.

Battery diamond's Indian summer?

What’s going on at JCI? Speculation has been rife for several months that the firm’s batteries business, Power Solutions, could be coming up for sale.

 

Saft's train of thought turns to India

It’s been two years since Total gobbled up Saft in a friendly takeover— amid concern that advances in battery technology might become lost in the oil giant’s fossil fuels portfolio. But judging from recent events not a bit of it.

 

He who pays the piper calls the tune

Entrepreneurs who spot a gap in the market will beg, steal and borrow to find the cash needed to fund a dream and go for it. So bravo Germany, which as we report this week is taking on the EU over restrictive state-aid policies so it can freely invest in battery production.

Investors splashing cash to supercharge batteries

There are investors out there who are falling over themselves to pump cash into batteries and energy storage worldwide, as we report in the latest edition of our weekly e-newsletter— BEST Battery Briefing.

 

Lead-acid enters injury time in Europe nursing life-changing wounds

There is only about a minute left on the battery industry’s ‘Doomsday Clock’ to fight for the survival of the lead-acid industry in Europe.

Brexit Britain feeling chill of battery trading winds?

There’s more evidence this week, as if it were needed…

Asian battery march into Europe gets stronger

Asia continues to hog the fast lane for electric vehicle battery development…

Mining firms digging deeper for 'battery gold'

The great ‘batteries gold’ rush is under way…

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