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‘Untapped potential of all four Battery technologies highlighted during the EUROBAT Forum’

Date

24 Jun 2013

Sections

Energy
Innovation & Enterprise

Gathering in Rome early June, representatives of Italy’s major transmission and distribution system operators confirmed that all four battery technologies will be required to provide energy storage in the country with each being suitable for different purposes and grid configurations. The key issue for all actors is to create appropriate market and regulatory conditions for facilitating the usage of energy storage technologies including batteries.

The 2013 EUROBAT Forum could not have taken place in a more appropriate location, with the rapid increase in Italian wind and solar farms having made “storage” a buzzword amongst the country’s electricity providers and politicians in recent months. The first session of the EUROBAT Forum on Friday 7 June discussed how battery energy storage systems could best be used to maintain Italian grid stability and flexibility. Mr Francesco Del Pizzo CEO of TERNA Storage announced that TERNA will invest in the next years on storage systems pilot projects according to the ministry and AEEG approvals: “The Italian power system has reached a stage where storage is an effective technical solution in order to manage power system security and efficiency. The increasing penetration of renewable sources requires a different paradigm of management and batteries are part of the overall strategy. TERNA is committed to build the power system of the future and we believe that investment in storage is a step forward in the innovation of the grid.”
 
The third session of the EUROBAT Forum honed in on the comparative merits of existing and future technologies. This kicked off with IBM’s presentation of its Li-air research project Battery500, which looks to develop a technology featuring five times higher energy density than today’s Lithium-ion batteries. The optimism of IBM’s Erich Ruetsche was brought into focus by two presentations on the untapped potential of existing battery technologies, with Saft CEO John Searle giving an overview of developments in Li-ion batteries and the expected power density improvements; and EnerSys President David Shaffer highlighting the latest R&D developments and new market opportunities with regards to Lead-based batteries. The debate that followed the presentations confirmed that the battery industry is constantly improving, and that further investments into research will be needed to continue to increase battery performance, reduce manufacturing costs and enhance safety. 
 
Last, but not least, speakers from Johnson Controls Power Solutions EMEA, Battery Council International and Honda Motor Europe presented best practise examples for ensuring the protection of workers and the environment across the global battery industry. With many battery manufacturers now operating across several different geographies, speakers highlighted the need for coherence to face regulatory challenges from both sides of the Atlantic, and emphasised the effectiveness of on-going cooperation between European and American battery associations, the car industry, and other European associations in Brussels. 
  
EUROBAT Vice-President Andreas Bawart expressed his satisfaction with 2013 EUROBAT Forum: “the event this year included a good combination of topics. We started with an analysis of the situation in Italy and the challenges resulting from the remarkable solar energy capacity of the country. It is very encouraging to see companies like Enel and TERNA Storage supporting investments on battery energy storage technologies. The other two sessions highlighted the industry commitment to sustainable manufacturing in Europe and the multi-stakeholder approach taken by EUROBAT, the car industry and other association in Europe and US to tackle overlapping legislation at EU level.
 
More than 110 attendees from member companies, press partners, invited speakers and members of other associations with whom EUROBAT partners in different areas were present in Rome, Italy, on 7 June 2013. The event was preceded by a series of internal EUROBAT meetings (Committees, Board and Annual General Meeting) on Thursday 6 June. The Annual General Meeting endorsed Johann-Friedrich Dempwolff as new President of the association and welcomed new associate and regular members. In addition to the traditional administrative and financial reporting and approvals, the Annual General Meeting also included presentations from invited speakers of the Battery Association of Japan, Battery Council International and the European Commission Joint Research Centre.
 
All presentations of the event, together with photos, are available for download on the webpage of the event - click here 
 
   

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