How batteries can recharge the European economy

How batteries can recharge the European economy

Innovation within battery storage and supply chains is crucial to securing a green recovery and fuelling the EU’s economic bounce back

By: Dr Christian Rosenkranz, VP Industry & Governmental Relations EMEA, Clarios

As we work towards the EU 2050 net-zero emissions target, innovation within the battery industry is paving the way for developing advanced energy storage systems and increasing the capacity of existing technologies needed to meet this target.

Europe is currently running on 30% renewable energy, and batteries, used in solar and wind power technologies, are key to helping the EU achieve its goal by 2050.

The EU’s finance commissioner’s statements that the coronavirus crisis has heightened the need for Europe to bolster the resilience of critical industrial supplies including advanced batteries, rings true when examining the economic recovery for the EU post coronavirus. Thierry Breton’s comments suggest the EU needs to ensure that in future we are less reliant on external resources and have a more effective and resilient ‘home-made’ supply chain. Continuing to invest in a range of battery technologies is key to achieving this. In the post pandemic world we could face major challenges securing external supplies of raw materials needed for high-tech industrial goods.  Ensuring our battery industry is resilient and can support both the recovery and a green future through rechargeable energy storage will be one of the key building blocks of economic growth.

The EU benefits from a secure and reliable lead battery value chain, where raw materials, manufacturing, innovation and more than 99% of recycling all occur in the EU, creating and sustaining jobs and growth. Currently, innovation, research and development are further needed within this battery industry to achieve power grids run by renewable energy, while COVID-19 has further highlighted the need for a more effective and resilient supply chain within the EU.

The Consortium for Battery Innovation in Europe is conducting a wave of innovation, research and development to increase the performance of batteries (key to the future of the carbon-neutral economy).

As the world’s only global pre-competitive research consortium promoting innovation in lead batteries, the CBI is at the forefront of the latest cutting-edge battery research to create next generation lead battery technology for clean energy and clean mobility applications.

Similarly, the Battery 2030+ roadmap outlines the vision for batteries to have integrated smart functionalities in future, with embedded sensors allowing the monitoring of battery health and safety, and self-healing mechanisms that can be triggered to prevent hazardous reductions. These are the examples of innovation within battery technology that will pave the way ahead for more effective energy storage.

The battery industry in Europe is a success story we can be proud of and build upon. We will help power a green recovery and sustain and create jobs for the future. We will work with legislators and policymakers to help charge a brighter future.

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