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‘EU needs Airbus-style consortium’ for batteries

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 09:51 -- News Editor
‘EU needs Airbus-style consortium’ for batteries

The EU’s energy chief has called for the creation of a Europe-wide consortium to support the battery industry— to prevent the EU “falling behind” in the race with China and other nations to power electric vehicles (EVs).

Maroš Šefčovič (pictured), the European Commission vice-president responsible for the ‘EU energy union’, said the bloc should invest in an “Airbus for batteries”— a consortium that he said could do for batteries what the European multinational does for the aircraft industry.

 

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Foxconn ‘plans major Li battery investments’ in China

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:27 -- News Editor
Foxconn ‘plans major Li battery investments’ in China

Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn is reportedly planning to invest a total of CNY25 billion ($3.7 billion) in several projects as part of the development of a new energy battery R&D centre and production base in Kunshan, in China’s Jiangsu Province.

China’s state Xinhua News Agency said CNY8 billion ($1.2 billion) will be invested in the first phase, as agreed in a strategic cooperation agreement the company signed with the Kunshan government.

 

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German energy firm buys into energy storage market

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 14:33 -- Paul Crompton
German energy firm buys into energy storage market

Energy company Innogy SE has bought fellow German large-scale lead-acid energy storage system firm Belectric Solar and Battery. 

The two companies signed the relevant share purchase agreement — believed to be in a high double-digit million Euro range— at the end of August, but completion was only announced on January 3.

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Grid-scale storage only just making financial sense

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:08 -- Paul Crompton
Grid-scale battery storage only just making financial sense say Uk Power Network

Batteries ability to transform the UK’s grid-scale energy landscape will become clearer as prices drop, claim electricity utility UK Power Networks.

The comments by Suleman Alli, the company’s director of Safety, Strategy and Support Services, came after a two-year trial testing lithium-ion technology in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

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UK gets first MW grid-scale lithium-ion energy storage system

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 15:52 -- Paul Crompton
UK gets first MW grid-scale lithium-ion energy storage system

Great Britain is to test its first battery system to provide grid-frequency after a partnership between energy utility firm National Grid and UK based Renewable Energy Systems (RES).

The 20MW battery storage system will provide a dynamic frequency response service with a second of a deviation, either higher or lower than 50Hz, being detected. 

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Lithium-ion without the rare earth metals

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 18:02 -- Ruth Williams

A Tohoku University researcher last month announced the development of a lithium-ion battery whose positive electrode does not use any rare earth metals.

Conventional lithium-ion batteries do use rare metals, such as cobalt and nickel, in the positive electrode. Due to their geochemical properties rare earth elements can be dispersed and often not found in concentrated or economically exploitable forms.  This makes these metals costly, and supplies not always stable. Eliminating them will likely make the batteries cheaper to manufacture.

China announced plans in 2009 to reduce its export quota of rare earth minerals to around 350,000 tons per year to conserve scarce resources and protect the environment.  This has led to other countries stock-piling their reserves.  The EU, US and Japan have brought a complaint to the World Trade Organisation alleging China is restricting the exports to maximize domestic use and thus distort the global economy.

Professor Itaru Honma of Tohoku University's Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials has succeeded in replacing these metals with organic substances. As a result, costs of materials for the positive electrode have been slashed to less than one-fifth what they were before.

Professor Honma made a button-sized lithium-ion battery for testing. This prototype achieved an energy density of 200 watt-hours per kilogram -- roughly double that of current lithium-ion batteries. Tests confirmed that the button-sized battery could withstand at least 100 charge-discharge cycles.

The next step will be to look further for organic materials that more efficiently store power and boost the battery's capacity, with a goal of developing a secondary battery for electric vehicles.

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