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INDUSTRY NEWS

13
Aug

2 Weeks News Review: 2

(A review of several groundbreaking events in the energy storage industry by Andrew Crossland, Research Analyst, Dufresne)

In this fortnightly “news in brief” segment, I look briefly at subsidies and market potential as well as a new technology being developed in Australia.

The US Department of Energy announced this week that it will invest $43 million in support for 19 grid and electric vehicle storage projects. $30 million of this will support 12 projects looking at sensing and control while the remaining money will be spent looking at “cutting-edge” technologies. Whatever your opinion of whether Governments should subsidise new technology, I think that the broad range of projects being supported can only be good for the industry. For example, $3.13 million will support research at Ford to look at improved battery testing- important for maintaining battery performance during operation (Source and Read More).

This investment by the DoE looks small when you consider the economic potential of energy storage. Pike Research this week estimates that the global market for advanced batteries will be $30 billion by 2022! Indeed, Italian transmission company Terna are planning to invest around €1 billion to mitigate problems caused by the explosion in solar panel take up in Italy.

In the UK, it has been revealed that the Government will be introducing energy storage subsidies. With a formal announcement due in September, it will be interesting to see if this can emulate the success of the feed in tariffs and create more market certainty. I will certainly be paying a lot of attention to this exciting news.

Finally, researchers at Murdoch University in Perth Australia have developed a new sodium-ion battery. The battery is too bulky for portable devices but may have applications in grid energy storage. Indeed, it is hoped that this will be a more affordable battery technology, especially considering it uses much more abundant materials than say Lithium-ion alternatives. The research team, led by Dr Minakshi, are now looking at commercialising this technology. It will be interesting to see how this promising technology is able to compete against more established alternatives especially in a resource constrained world (Source and Read More). 

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