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German state aid for batteries not enough to replace private investment, says minister

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:48 -- John Shepherd

German state investment to establish a ‘home-grown’ battery cell industry cannot replace the need for “entrepreneurial commitment”, the country’s economy minister has said.

Federal economic affairs and energy minister Peter Altmaier (pictured) said: “We can only subsidise a part of the costs— the lion's share must be raised by the industry itself.”

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East Penn hits back over overtime violations claim

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:05 -- John Shepherd

US lead-acid firm East Penn Manufacturing has pledged to fight allegations that it has violated a federal law relating to overtime payments.

The US Department of Labor has launched legal action against the company, claiming an investigation found overtime and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

But East Penn has said the move is "without merit" and that it would mount a vigorous legal defence.

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VW and Northvolt in driving seat for new battery research group

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 13:22 -- John Shepherd
VW and Northvolt in driving seat for new battery research group

Volkswagen has formed a European batteries research consortium with Swedish lithium-ion start-up Northvolt.

The German carmaker said the newly-formed European Battery Union (EBU) would work with research and industry partners in seven European Union member states to cover “the entire battery value stream – from raw materials through cell technology to recycling”.

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Blackstone Resources bids for German battery investment aid

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 12:54 -- John Shepherd

Swiss battery metals investor Blackstone Resources has submitted a detailed business plan to the German government in a bid to benefit from battery production subsidies.

Blackstone said it was among technology firms invited to submit blueprints for financing to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. 

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Amnesty issues ‘ethical batteries’ challenge for EVs

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 16:17 -- John Shepherd
Amnesty International is calling for “ethical batteries” to be produced for electric vehicles (EVs) within five years— and a crackdown to prevent human rights abuses in raw materials mining.  Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said a “drastic overhaul”

Amnesty International is calling for “ethical batteries” to be produced for electric vehicles (EVs) within five years— and for a crackdown to prevent human rights abuses in raw materials mining.

Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said a “drastic overhaul” of energy sources was needed “that prioritises protection of human rights and the environment”.

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Bipartisan bid to overhaul US battery storage laws

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:17 -- Hugh Finzel
Bipartisan bid to overhaul US battery storage laws

A bipartisan alliance in the US has introduced legislation “to expand clean battery energy storage”, and launch an Advanced Energy Storage Caucus (AESC) to promote better understanding of storage technologies.

The legislative package— launched by Democrat Mark Takano and Republican Chris Collins, who together launched the Battery Energy Storage Caucus in 2015— introduces the Storage Technology for Operational Readiness and Generating Energy (STORAGE) Act, Battery Storage Innovation (BSI) Act, and the Advancing Grid Storage (AGS) Act.

The STORAGE Act would amend 40-year-old laws on utility regulatory policies to include energy storage systems on “the list of strategies statesshould consider when developing energy plans”.

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Panasonic joins solar plus battery microgrids pilot for India

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 11:19 -- Hugh Finzel
Panasonic joins solar plus battery microgrids pilot for India

Indian power distributor BSES Yamuna is to partner Panasonic in rolling out pilot solar power microgrids with battery storage at four separate locations in East Delhi.

Each microgrid will comprise 5-7kW of rooftop solar generation and 7-10kWh of lithium-ion battery storage. 

The pilot plants set up at BSES offices in East Delhi reported that, following installation, locations sourced 92% of their power from the microgrid, and only 8% from the grid itself.

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KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:41 -- Hugh Finzel
KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

KULR Technology will supply French battery maker Saft with innovative ‘internal short circuit’ (ISC) battery-testing devices to aid ongoing research into safety and the prevention of battery fires.

The ISCs, which replicate latent defects in batteries that can be some of the most common, serious, and hardest cell failures to detect, will be delivered early in the second quarter of 2019.

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‘Rogue shippers’ risk to lithium air cargo safety

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 11:42 -- John Shepherd
‘Rogue shippers’ risk to lithium air cargo safety

Lithium batteries pose risks for air cargo safety because of “rogue shippers” and a failure to enforce regulations, the head of the trade body for the world’s airlines has warned.

Alexandre de Juniac (right), director-general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the batteries “can be shipped safely if properly labelled and packaged”.

But de Juniac said: “With respect to the safety of air cargo, transport of lithium batteries is the most topical issue.”

 
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Veolia to manage operations at Aqua Metals’ Nevada facility

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Steve Cotton

The US arm of France’s transnational Veolia group is to operate and manage the Nevada facility of US lead-acid battery recycling company Aqua Metals.

Aqua Metals said Boston-based Veolia North America Regeneration Services would provide operations, maintenance and management services at the AquaRefining plant in McCarran under a partnership agreement.

Veolia “will contribute operational and technological expertise and organisational capabilities in aqueous-based process chemistries and electrolysis, along with taking on responsibility for operations, supply chain, off take and management of the plant”, Aqua Metals said.

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