A world moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy will rely increasingly on energy storage and in particular on batteries. Europe needs to support its battery industry value chain with technology breakthroughs that make possible radical improvements in battery performance, chargeability, lifetime, safety and environmental footprint.
With funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, the Battery 2030+ project will mobilise European researchers and industry over the next twelve months. Building on the ‘Battery Manifesto’ published in December 2018, they will prepare a long-term research roadmap towards the development of new battery technologies with ultra-high performance (both in power and in their capacity to store energy), and which are safe, easily re-chargeable, re-usable and recyclable, and have the lowest environmental impact possible.
The initiative will focus on new scientific approaches that make use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, sensors, and computing in order to advance knowledge in electro-chemistry and to explore new battery chemistries. It will aim to meet the needs of the mobility and energy storage sectors, as well as other application areas. By focusing on radically new ideas and long-term approaches, it will complement ongoing research efforts on upcoming generations of batteries that are currently driven by the industry’s short to medium term needs.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said,
Europe’s decarbonisation requires new battery technologies with a level of performance that will make the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy storage possible. The EU needs to mobilise its scientific and engineering excellence and build on the latest digital technologies to advance in this field and pave the way to high value batteries that are made in Europe.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said,
Batteries are at the heart of the ongoing industrial revolution. We need to mobilise our scientific excellence and the full battery value chain to make Europe the centre for the next generation of battery technologies. This will define our global competitive position and reinforce our leadership in the fight against climate change.
Project Coordinator Kristina Edström, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Uppsala University in Sweden, added,
In the future, new generations of ultrahigh-performance, reliable, safe, sustainable and affordable batteries will become necessary, and in the Battery 2030+ initiative we will focus on designing them. We will make an acceleration platform that will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create new battery materials, always considering sustainability issues.
The research roadmap created by the initiative will shape the research activities for which support is planned from 2020 within Horizon 2020. Continuation of support under Horizon Europe, the Commission’s proposed research and innovation programme for 2021-2027, may be considered as part of its strategic planning.
The EU and batteries
In 2017 the Commission established the European Battery Alliance, which brings together policymakers, academia and industry to develop new battery technologies and create a competitive battery industry in Europe. In May 2018, a large-scale research initiative on future battery technologies was announced as part of the Commission’s Strategic Action Plan for Batteries.
The Battery 2030+ project includes partners from nine EU countries and has been granted a year of funding. It will lay the foundations for a long-term, large-scale research initiative on future battery technologies.
The Battery 2030+ consortium includes:
- five universities (Uppsala University, Politecnico di Torino, Technical University of Denmark, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Münster)
- eight research centres (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaf, Fundacion Cidetec,
- three industry-led research associations (Energy Materials Industrial Research Initiative, European Association for Storage of Energy, Recharge Association).