Where will we get our batteries from? 

After our previous newsletter we received a few comments querying the inclusion of the EU’s Battery Passport in this year’s pre-conference workshop. Here we try to explain why it is so important. 

Big news this week about producing electric vehicles in Europe as manufacturers seek to find enough batteries made in the EU to meet the new requirements for trading electric cars. The EU’s Batteries Directive and other legislation brings in requirements to source batteries from within the EU. While this is a problem for car makers, it could be an opportunity for flow battery suppliers, manufacturers and developers to increase their market share. 

We know the demand for stationary energy storage is huge; EASE has identified the need to produce 14 GW of storage each year to meet the targets for clean energy in Europe. There is also a significant demand for batteries for EV use. Although the EV industry seems to be reliant on lithium-ion technology, and most flow batteries are intended for stationary applications, there are important connections between the mobile and stationary parts of the battery industry. Producing enough energy storage for both mobile and stationary applications is going to need more than one source of batteries. The cost predictions for flow batteries show lower through life costs for stationary storage than many other battery types. So, it is an obvious choice to use flow batteries for stationary applications and reserve lithium-ion batteries for EVs. That of course depends on building the factories to make the flow batteries. 

At IFBF 2023 we will be discussing these points, starting in the pre-conference workshop with the role of the Battery Passport as part of the EU’s Batteries Directive. The Battery Passport sets out a standard methodology for assessing the origin and content of a battery, and calculation of its whole life cost. For the first time there will be a uniform means to compare batteries of different types. This should allow battery purchasers – such as project developers, financiers, power companies and industry – to make informed decisions during procurement. 

The Battery Passport is important to flow battery manufacturers and users around the world, not just in the EU. International suppliers will need to be aware of the Battery Passport to trade in the EU. Further, we expect international users to refer to the Battery Passport when comparing products from different producers, and of different technologies, when sourced from around the world. 

This leads to the role of international standards – both current and future – which we will discuss in the afternoon of the pre-conference workshop. 

During the IFBF 2023 conference we will continue our debate on how to increase production of flow batteries. We will ask the CEOs of major flow battery companies how they intend to keep up with production. We will have views from investors and project developers. And we have invited members of the EC to give their comments on the status of our industry. With our technical talks and posters, we will also showcase some of the recent advances in flow battery technology. 

If you want to know more about flow batteries, come to Prague and join in. We look forward to seeing you there. 

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