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Pb is missing link in EU battery strategy

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 14:01 -- John Shepherd

EU leaders have released a long-awaited ‘strategic action plan’ that says batteries should be at the heart of future industrial strategy.

But lead-acid was not even mentioned (unlike lithium) in the document— published as part of the outgoing European Commission’s ‘State of the Energy Union’ report: ‘Implementation of the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries: Building a Strategic Battery Value Chain in Europe.’

For a full report, see the latest— Spring 2019— edition of Batteries and Energy Storage Technology magazine, out now! If you’re not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.

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Exide invests in VRLA storage plus solar at Portugal plant

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 10:14 -- Hugh Finzel

US battery manufacturer Exide Technologies is investing in a solar power facility coupled with VRLA battery storage at its production plant in Castanheira do Ribatejo in Portugal.

Another solar facility will be installed at Exide’s recycling plant in Azambuja, Portugal.

The solar-plus-storage system will pair 500kWh worth of Sonnenschein A600 VRLA from GNB— a division of Exide Technologies— with solar. The two sites will have a combined total of around 10,000 solar photovoltaic panels, with a total generating capacity of 3.8MWp. The company said this was equivalent to the power requirements of more than 2,000 homes.

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ILA calls for new EU strategy on batteries

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:45 -- John Shepherd

Europe has been urged to develop a new industrial strategy to “champion” all batteries, including lead-acid.

The managing director of the International Lead Association (ILA), Dr Andy Bush (pictured), said the creation of a Batteries Alliance and a ‘batteries action plan’ for the EU, has been “one of the successes of the European Commission”.

However, Bush said it was a “weakness” for EU policymakers to “focus predominantly on one battery technology, omitting to support Europe’s existing strengths in this area and the jobs it generates in our societies”.

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Sunlight takes a shine to lithium with new ‘smart battery’

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:33 -- John Shepherd
Sunlight Li.On Force batteries

Greek lead-acid battery maker Sunlight is entering the electrical industrial vehicles (eIVs) market with the launch of a “smart lithium batteries” line.

Sunlight said the debut of its ‘Li.On Force’ follows “a multi-year intensive research plan” to produce batteries “that combine the advantages of batteries featuring lithium technology” with applications of Internet of Things technology.

A battery management system relays performance and other data in real time to a Sunlight control centre via the Cloud.

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Battery storage hybrid planned for UK ‘energy superhub’

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:03 -- John Shepherd

UK companies are behind plans to install a hybrid storage system of lithium-ion and vanadium redox flow batteries at the heart of a new ‘energy superhub’ in the English city of Oxford.

The superhub consortium— which includes UK energy storage company redT and Pivot Power— said the project would study how the growth in local renewables, electric vehicles, battery storage, and demand side response can be supported and help in reducing charges to consumers.

Pivot Power will create a connection to the transmission network for the system that will combine the lithium-ion battery with “2 MW / 5 MWh of the heavy cycling, non-degrading characteristics of vanadium redox flow machines”.

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SK Innovation building Polish battery plant

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 10:42 -- Hugh Finzel

SK Innovation is to start work on a factory in Poland to manufacture lithium-ion battery separators (LiBS) and ceramic coated separators (CCS) for electric vehicle batteries in Europe.

The South Korean group will break ground on the plant site in Województwo Śląskie in southern Poland in the third quarter of 2019— and expects to begin mass production in the third quarter of 2021.

SK Innovation intends to invest €335 million (US$378m) to realise four LiBS production units and three CCS production units on the 270,000 square metre site.

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Scientists warn EU against restrictions on lead

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 08:45 -- John Shepherd

Top EU scientists have warned that proposals to restrict the use of lead in the EU risk jeopardising the bloc’s plans to expand energy storage and clean technologies.

The scientists have criticised “ill-judged” attempts to clamp down on lead, after industry leaders said thousands of battery jobs risked being axed in Europe and ‘exported’ to competitors if the European Commission backed moves for an in-effect ban on the use of four lead compounds.

BEST Battery Briefing understands the Commission is advising EU states against adding lead monoxide, lead tetroxide, pentalead tetraoxide sulfate and tetralead trioxide sulfate to Europe’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) authorisation list.

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Joint venture plans liquid air energy storage projects

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 12:56 -- Hugh Finzel
Highview LAES system

A new joint venture company involving UK liquid air energy storage (LAES) system pioneer Highview Power is to develop “multiple projects” in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa.

Highview has entered into a joint venture agreement with Spain-based global engineering, procurement and construction group, TSK, to co-develop a series of “large-scale long-duration energy systems”.

The projects will use Highview’s cryogenic LAES technology, which the company said “can deliver anywhere from 20MW/80MWh to more than 200MW/1.2GWh of energy” at facilities with a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

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‘Reprieve in sight’ for lead-acid as proposed EU ban shelved

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Johann-Friedrich Dempwolff

Lead battery makers are poised to win a reprieve from European proposals that threatened to kill off the industry by imposing an in-effect ban on the use of four lead compounds, BEST Battery Briefing has learned.

Industry leaders had warned thousands of battery jobs risked being axed in Europe and ‘exported’ to competitors if the European Commission moved to add the compounds— all of which are “irreplaceable in lead battery production”— to the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) authorisation list.

However, the Brussels-based Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers— Eurobat— has told BBB it understands the Commission is not now recommending the inclusion of lead monoxide, lead tetroxide, pentalead tetraoxide sulfate and tetralead trioxide sulfate on the REACH list.

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OEMs ‘should pay for recycling’ to ease EV transition

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The cost of recycling used electric vehicle batteries should be covered “at least in part” by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), according to proposals by Europe’s energy storage industry.

Such a move should form part of measures to “address the barriers that hamper the uptake of storage”, the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) has said in a new position paper.

The paper recommends EV batteries be used in the stationary energy storage market once they are no longer suitable for their initial purpose, describing it as “a significant opportunity for car and battery manufacturers, but also EV owners who would be able to replace a part of their initial investment in the EV battery”.

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