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EU splashes cash for e-batteries as ‘political priority’

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 10:14 -- John Shepherd
EU splashes cash for e-batteries as ‘political priority’

The European Commission has pledged to pump EUR200 million ($232.5m) of fresh funding into developing “next generation electric batteries” in the EU over the next three years.

The announcement took industry insiders by surprise— coming three months before the Commission is due to finalise a “comprehensive roadmap” to fund an EU ‘batteries alliance’.

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Expert report highlights ‘increasing value’ of storage systems

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 15:37 -- Xuan Zhong
Expert report highlights ‘increasing value’ of storage systems

Europe’s policymakers have been urged to consider “updating” power market frameworks to allow storage systems to compete in providing “secure supplies of affordable electricity at the lowest costs” to consumers.

According to a new report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) – ‘Valuing dedicated storage in electricity grids’ – dedicated electricity storage “has historically had a relatively minor role in the management of Europe’s electricity networks”.

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Batteries are key to EU’s new transport policy

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:33 -- Xuan Zhong
Batteries are key to EU’s new transport policy

EUROBAT, the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, has welcomed the strong focus on battery manufacturing in the EU’s new ‘Europe on the Move' policy package.

The European Commission launched the policies to make Europe’s transport sector, which employs more than 11 million people, more competitive, better connected and cleaner. The policy document says it wants to “ensure that the best clean, connected and automated mobility solutions, transport equipment and vehicles will be developed, offered and manufactured in Europe.”

 

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EU helps fund UK’s first battery flywheel system

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:27 -- Xuan Zhong
EU helps fund UK’s first battery flywheel system

Despite the UK’s Brexit decision, the European Union is helping to fund the UK’s first battery flywheel system.

The EU is contributing €2.9 ($3.2) million towards the €4 (£4.5) million project from its Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to take “great ideas from the lab to the market”.

 

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€68M ($73M) fines to EU vehicles lead recycling cartel

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 09:49 -- Xuan Zhong
€68M ($73M) fines to EU vehicles lead recycling cartel

Three European lead recycling firms have been fined a total of €68 million ($73 million) by the European Commission for fixing the purchasing price of scrap automotive batteries.

Eco-Bat Technologies (UK), Campine (Belgium) and Recylex (France), were each fined for their part in the cartel. The fourth, Johnson Controls, escaped a fine because it blew the whistle on the malpractice.

 

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Whistle-blowing JCI escapes EU lead price fixing fine

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 10:31 -- Xuan Zhong

Johnson Controls is set to escape forthcoming European Union antitrust fines after owning up to price rigging with smaller rivals on the price of lead purchased from scrap dealer, according to Bloomberg newswire.

Eco-Bat Technologies Ltd, Recylex SA, and Campine SA still expected to be fined in the coming weeks for their role in a cartel among companies buying lead recycled from car batteries.

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European Commission invests in batteries for improving grid infrastructure

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:41 -- Ruth Williams
The European Commission holds the purse strings for the project

A 250MW battery storage installation in Italy is included in a list of 250 projects the European Commission is investing €5.85 billion in. The battery storage systems will be connected to the critical 150 kV transmission networks in Central South Italy.

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Chinese rare earth exports

Thu, 08/02/2012 - 18:02 -- Ruth Williams

China has published a white paper confirming its position on rare earth elements following a complaint filed to the World Trade Organisation.  The US, EU and Japan protested China are limiting their export of rare earth elements to protect domestic industries. China has rebuked this claim and cites mounting environmental damage by over-mining as the reason for slowing its mining programme.
The country is now being criticised for manipulating its estimation of reserves held. Previously they claimed to have 30% of the global reserves but now state it is closer to 20%. The Chinese government is fearful of the environmental impact of over mining.  The country has already come under much scrutiny for its poor environmental track record so vigilance should be welcomed. However some critics fear the re-estimation and slower mining of reserves could have more to do with keeping prices up than concerns for the land they come from.
Industries rely heavily upon rare earth elements and will have to look elsewhere for resources if China is to stand by its conviction.  Greenland could hold the answer, there is an estimated quarter of the elements required globally hidden beneath its ice.  Alternatively countries could follow suit with South-East Asia and by ‘urban mining’ – reclaiming used materials from landfill sites.

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