Miksad in ‘fair play’ funding call for batteries

Miksad in ‘fair play’ funding call for batteries

Miksad in ‘fair play’ funding call for batteries 900 927 Batteries International

October 18, 2023: US government funding for batteries is improperly tilted in favour of a handful of technologies, Battery Council International chief Roger Miksad has said.

Miksad, BCI’s president and executive director, wrote in The Washington Times that current federal funding has failed to support the existing US industry — and “doesn’t reflect the nation’s existing and future reliance on lead batteries across every sector”.

There is a critical need for the federal government to invest in more R&D for America’s proven battery industry, specifically lead batteries, he said.

Miksad’s call follows analysis released by the US Department of Energy in July, which included lead, lithium and flow batteries among assessments of 10 technologies with the potential to support future long duration energy storage projects in the country.

Miksad said: “To achieve energy independence, we will need batteries of all types: lead, lithium, flow, and chemistries yet to be discovered.

“The demand for batteries will outstrip domestic production for decades.”

Miksad cited DOE forecasts that some 1,000GWh of lithium ion battery production capacity will be online in 2030 if all proposed plants are built.

Most of that capacity is slated for EVs, meaning other critical applications — particularly energy storage — will be underserved.

Miksad said lead batteries, which are undergoing a “technological renaissance”, could underpin much-needed energy storage capacity and he urged more federal investment in R&D for the sector.

“Lead batteries have a deep record of success and industry strength that can be relied on to provide the backbone of domestic energy storage manufacturing for decades to come and are a solid investment for future needs,” Miksad said.

“Congress and regulators must invest holistically in lead, flow, lithium, and other technologies to ensure that the US lead battery industry remains a world leader.”

Data published in March by Essential Energy Everyday — an initiative of BCI — showed annual lead battery manufacturing capacity in North America is now in excess of 206GWh.

Last month, a cradle-to-grave study comparing 12V lead and lithium iron phosphate batteries concluded that lead batteries are four times better for the environment than their lithium counterparts.