31 August 2023:

In June 2023 the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a special report titled “The EU’s Industrial Policy on Batteries – New Strategic Impetus Needed.” The document emphasised the significance of batteries in facilitating the clean energy transition and enhancing the competitiveness of the automotive sector. We wish to comment on the ECA’s report, highlighting that the document offers valuable insights into the current status and strategic outlook of batteries for electric mobility. Furthermore, we also anticipate a similar report addressing batteries within the context of the stationary energy storage sector.

The ECA Report lists five recommendations, the first one being a recommendation for the European Commission to update its strategy for a sustainable and competitive European battery value chain. We are convinced that a comprehensive strategy for the battery value chain should include a strategy for batteries used for energy storage. The EU strategy should aim to use lithium-ion battery cells in those applications where weight and energy density are critical and to build up an industry to manufacture and deploy flow batteries (or other battery types) for applications, such as bulk energy storage to be used alongside renewable generation or for grid balancing or ancillary services. The EU deserves an energy storage strategy that has security from diversity.

If the current funding trends don’t shift, the EU risks on missing out being competitive in the field of stationary battery market. More investment in flow battery technologies will benefit the EU longer term targets for decarbonisation, allowing for better integration of renewable integration in the grid. Pushing the various flow battery technologies up the TRL-scale will also contribute to European strategic autonomy.

Make sure to read our full Position Paper here and below.