July 15, 2021: Battery Council International and the Consortium for Battery Innovation in a report released on July 14 have called on the battery industry to work on key areas of research to cement lead batteries’ place in the future of energy storage.
The Lead Battery Grand Challenge Executive Summary is a roadmap that identifies 13 ‘work areas’ under three specific headings: Lead Battery Science Research; Supply Chain Issues; and Energy Storage System Demonstrations.
The paper, which focuses on the US industry, calls on lead-acid battery makers, the US Department of Energy and national laboratories ‘to partner on collaborative research that takes science from the laboratory to the marketplace’, BCI executive vice president Roger Miksad said.
“The lead battery industry believes that by using its experience in combination with the scientific skill and expertise of the DOE’s national lab system it can yield significant performance gains that could double, or provide even greater advances to, cycle life and energy density,” he said.
“This would further cement lead batteries as the only energy storage solution with intrinsic safety measures, that is highly sustainable, manufactured domestically, and meets the techno-economic needs of the US utility sector for decarbonization and distribution of the US grid.”
The report was released on the same day that DOE secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the department’s goal of reducing the cost of grid-scale, long-duration energy storage by 90% within a decade.
The ‘Long Duration Storage Shot’ was one of the targets set in the DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative, which also includes $52.5 million spending on hydrogen technology.
“We’re going to bring hundreds of gigawatts of clean energy on to the grid over the next few years and we need to be able to use that energy wherever and whenever it’s needed,” Granholm said. “Cheaper and more efficient storage will make it easier to capture and store clean energy for use when energy generation is unavailable or lower than demand.”
BCI said: “The nation’s electric power industry depends on a wide spectrum of technologies — including lead batteries — for functions ranging from back-up power supply during system disruptions (such as those seen in Texas last winter, when power was out for days, and the wildfire season in California, which is currently threatening to knock out critical power lines across southern Oregon) to facilitating the integration of power from variable resources such as wind and solar to the electric grid.
“A resilient infrastructure needs to have a diverse range of energy sources and given its unique features, lead batteries must be a key part of that mix.”