January 28, 2021: New US president Joe Biden has given a major boost to the battery industry by specifically naming the sector in his ‘Build Back Better Recovery Plan’ on January 14. He says battery technology and clean energy would be among the research and development markets that would receive historic investment in the months and years to come.
The mention came after about 17 minutes of his hour-long speech, when he said: “Imagine historic investments in research and development to sharpen America’s innovative edge in markets where global leadership is up for grabs, markets like the battery technology, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, clean energy.”
Battery Council International welcomed the comment.
“The lead battery industry, with its strong domestic supply chain, is ideally positioned to rapidly deliver on the president’s promise to have American jobs support the nation’s post-Covid economic recovery, and also to ensure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure,” said executive vice president and general counsel Roger Miksad.
“Lead batteries will be the dominant rechargeable battery technology for the foreseeable future, are the most recycled consumer product in the nation, and are the global leader in a variety of green applications from well known automotive uses, supporting clean mobility in low carbon start0stoi and micro-hybrid vehicles, to the growing utility and renewable energy storage markets, which are ushering in a global energy transition.”
BCI says the US lead battery industry spent $100 million in R&D in 2019 and is actively pursuing next-generation battery technology and energy storage as the market is predicted to grow to 430GWh by 2030.
In November 2020, former US Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman said the election of Biden as US president signalled a message of support from Americans for a clean energy economy.
“As outlined in our 2030 Vision, at least 100GW of energy storage is needed over the next decade to support the buildout of higher shares of wind and solar power, as well as distributed energy resources and electric vehicles,” she said.
The ESA urged the new administration to promote domestic energy storage supply chain, finance and innovation; promote equitable electric system resilience; and establish market designs that value and compensate grid flexibility.
Separately, Speakes-Backman has been appointed by the incoming administration as principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. She took up the post on January 21.