Movers and SHAKERS
The U.S. has Solidified its Support for Battery Technology Through 2030
The global lithium-based battery market is expected to grow by a factor of 5 to 10 over the next decade. The electric vehicle market often steals the headlines related to the needs of electric power storage systems, but lithium-based batteries are becoming increasingly important for commercial markets, stationary grid-storage systems, national defense, and aviation. Because of the increasing demand for power storage, particularly as it relates to global competition, the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries to develop the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries. The “blueprint” was released this month by the Secretary of Energy. It’s a 24-page document that contains five critical goals to guide collaboration between federal agencies through 2030. Understanding what’s guiding government resources and decisions can benefit investors that seek to benefit from the growth.
The 24-page report contains five main goals to achieve the overall vision. Below are the goals further defined by other information pulled from the report. (At the bottom of this article is a link for the full version of The National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030).
- Secure access to raw and refined materials and discover alternatives for critical minerals for commercial and defense applications. This goal is set to reduce or eliminate U.S. lithium battery manufacturing dependence on scarce materials such as cobalt and nickel. Securing reliable domestic and foreign sources for critical minerals is a first step toward ultimately replacing the materials in the manufacture of lithium batteries.
- Support the growth of a U.S. materials-processing base able to meet domestic battery manufacturing demand. At present the US relies on international markets for the processing of most lithium-battery raw materials. The report recommends government involvement in creating greater processing ability within our borders.
- Stimulate the U.S. electrode, cell, and pack manufacturing sectors. It’s expected that domestic growth and onshoring of cell and pack manufacturing will need ongoing incentives and support for further consumer adoption of EVs. This goal urges developing a federal policy framework that supports manufacturing electrodes, cells, and packs within our borders and encourages incentives to propel demand for lithium-ion batteries.
- Enable U.S. end-of-life reuse and critical materials recycling at scale and a full competitive value chain in the United States. Recycling lithium-ion cells will help achieve maximize benefit of scarce materials while reducing harmful environmental impacts of mining or disposal. Currently, recyclers face a net end-of-life cost when recycling EV batteries. New more cost efficient methods of testing, transporting, recycling, will be required.
- Maintain and advance U.S. battery technology leadership by strongly supporting scientific R&D, STEM education, and workforce development. Integral to achieving US leadership is a strong pipeline of R&D, ranging from new electrode and electrolyte materials for next generation lithium-ion batteries, to advances in solid-state batteries, and novel material, electrode, and cell manufacturing methods. The R&D is to be supported by strong intellectual property (IP) protection and rapid movement of innovations from lab to market through public-private R&D partnerships.
The US Department of Energy and the Federal Consortium for the Advancement of Batteries encourage cooperation and coordination across the US Government agencies’ advanced battery efforts to achieve a strong and clean manufacturing and development base. Investors looking to benefit from the newly laid out goals may find putting investment capital in companies focused on recycling, production, or materials procurement may be beneficial as the focus continues to gain momentum and support from Washington.
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