The European funding landscape must effectively connect energy storage to high-level EU climate goals


Dr. Carl Telford

Research and Innovation Manager

Consortium for Battery Innovation

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The European funding landscape must effectively connect energy storage to high-level EU climate goals

The Energy Storage Global Conference (ESGC) takes place this week during 19-21 October. Organised by EASE in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, CBI’s Research & Innovation Manager, Dr Carl Telford joins the ESGC agenda to highlight that lead battery technology will continue to play a major role in our future.

A great opportunity within the energy storage industry to network and discuss the latest issues, technologies and policy frameworks, especially at a time where energy storage demand increases every year, ESGC provides a fantastic opportunity for the lead battery industry to be part of the conversation by discussing the latest trends, projects and innovative developments and demonstrating that research and innovation are driving performance improvements in advanced lead batteries.

In a short interview anticipating this event, Dr Carl Telford said that he joined CBI in this particularly exciting and challenging period for the energy sector, because he wanted to “make a difference” and be involved in energy storage, circular economy and net zero projects, as they will be “extremely important for the future”.

He pointed out that there is an enormous potential for lead battery innovation in Europe, especially if we look into “exploring the synergies between different battery chemistries”, which can be useful to develop systems where the “overall is better than the sum of the parts” – a trend that is already showing great results in projects such as GS Yuasa’s renewable energy centre. Another major trend within the industry is decarbonisation. Through innovation and by using the expertise that already exists to create better solutions, it is possible to develop projects which combine lead battery energy storage with solar power to deliver carbon emissions reductions of manufacturing sites, such as at Exide’s plant in Portugal.

Regarding the challenges that the battery community faces in navigating the European funding landscape, Dr Telford acknowledges that the system is “incredibly complex” and that the challenge starts with understanding the landscape, knowing how to apply for it and “most importantly” knowing your working groups and “who to talk to”.

As this year marks the start of Horizon Europe’s funding programme out to 2027, the EU’s most ambitious research and innovation programme ever, Dr Telford highlighted that all batteries are a “critical” part of the programme and that it is relevant to “use combinations of different batteries”, where lead batteries can also be extremely useful since they are “rapidly deployable” and have a “circular production capacity” and are used in a range of applications critical to Europe’s decarbonisation and electrification goals.

Dr Telford discusses how if we can deploy energy storage systems – in the right sort of applications that leverage lead batteries – we can make an impact sooner rather than later. With climate change we need to act now and not in five years time:

Dr Telford has a PhD in materials engineering and a career with more than 20 years of experience in strategic research, consulting and R&D, including expertise in road mapping, facilitation and energy, automotive and chemicals sectors. Read more from him on how the ‘Fit for 55’ package has paved the way for a significant uptick in battery energy storage here.

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