2 July 2024:

Last week in Glasgow, Flow Batteries Europe (FBE) successfully co-organised the 2024 edition of the International Flow Batteries Forum (IFBF), including a pre-conference workshop and defined its work priorities during its 8th General Assembly.

24 June 2024:  
Pre-Conference Workshop on flow batteries 
On Monday, Flow Batteries Europe, together with the IFBF, kicked off an engaging workshop on the basics of flow battery technology. It dealt with topics such as a review of energy storage types, what are similarities and differences of flow battery to other battery types, how to build a flow battery and how it works, as well as flow battery systems and operations. Speakers included Anthony Price (FBE Secretary-General), Peter Fischer (CENELEST) and Jean Louis Cols (Invinity Energy Systems). 

Flow Batteries Europe Open Meeting and General Assembly
Following the workshop, FBE held an Open Meeting and its 8th General Assembly that included: 

  • A presentation of the association’s activities and latest successes; 
  • Topics shaping the flow battery industry such as the Batteries Regulation, PFAS Restriction Proposal and Carbon Footprint Calculation, flow battery safety and risks, how to develop the skills of the next generation
  • The welcoming of three new FBE members: Jena Flow Batteries GmbH, VoltStorage and HalioGEN Power. 

FBE would like to thank all the participants, and guest speakers: Bing Shu from the University of New South Wales, Jan Girschik from the Fraunhofer UMSICHT, and Cedric Triquet representing Chemours. 

25 – 27 June 2024: IFBF 2024 
The whole flow battery sector gathered once again at the IFBF 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland which was hosted by Invinity Energy Systems. The yearly event brings the sector together to discuss the most recent developments in the science, technology and commercialisation of flow batteries. 

The 2024 hybrid edition welcomed nearly 350 attendees from across the world and almost 20 exhibitors willing to learn and share knowledge about flow batteries and foster valuable networking opportunities.  
Many FBE members presented to the international flow battery community at the leading event for the sector. FBE also had an exhibition stand to spread awareness about emerging policy topics. 

Some major discussion points from the event were: 

Showcase that flow batteries are market ready 
In order to raise awareness of flow batteries being an ideal solution for long-duration energy storage which is crucial for powering a sustainable and green future, Kees van de Kerk (FBE President) reiterated that we need to communicate that ‘flow batteries are market ready’. He further highlighted that the industry needs “to balance the commercial with the technical side for the flow battery sector to grow successfully. 

Challenge with bringing the costs down 
A major issue expressed many speakers was for the need to bring down costs. Larry Zulch (Invinity Energy Systems) stated that “the challenge is not increasing demand for flow batteries; the challenge is bringing costs down and meeting demand at scale. He further elaborated that keeping costs low is a critical trend and industries which succeed are focused on doing that. 

Standardising was seen as a potential solution to this issue; however, the sector must work closer together on all areas to achieve this. Growing the flow batteries network and fostering collaborations among various stakeholders and value chain members is pivotal for this to occur. 
Need for long-duration energy storage 
Representatives from the European Commission, the California Energy Commission and the UK discussed the support needed for long-duration energy storage, and the potential for selecting technology winners.  
Mike Gravely (California Energy Commission) mentioned that the goal is to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045 in California, and currently they are at over 60%. He believed that 20-25% of the 50,000MW installed [by 2045] should be long duration storage, which could show that it is cheaper in the long term than lithium-ion. 
He added that “long duration storage is going to end up being economic. We are not buying long duration just because we think we need it but because it must be economic, compared to lithium-ion. However, the issue is the proof, it is about proofing and rolling it out.” 

To help spur the increase in flow battery development, Ruud Kempener (DG ENER, European Commission) emphasised how “we need to use public funding that is there in order to attract private investors.”  He mentioned that the Innovation Fund has a new call dedicated to battery manufacturing worth 1 billion Euros. In addition, he reiterated that we should try to avoid a situation where every Member State starts to reinvent the wheel, which is why we are developing common methodologies and assessments. 

From left to right: Kees van de Kerk (FBE President), David Twomey (FBE Communications Officer), Beata Virsumirska (FBE Policy Officer), Anthony Price (FBE Secretary- General), Patrick Clerens. 
A closing note from Larry Zulch (Invinity Energy Systems) at the opening session was “Without Flow Batteries Europe, we won’t understand the [political] environment in Europe, it is complex, in reality we have a challenge understanding it. 
It was a pleasure to co-organise the conference and provide the flow battery community with guidance in the world of regulations and policy. FBE stands ready to engage in insightful discussions and provide valuable resources to further support flow battery stakeholders.
The IFBF 2025 will take place in Vienna, Austria, which will be hosted by our member CellCube. 

See below more photos from event. To view all the photos taken at the IFBF, click here.