Future Battery Technologies for Energy Storage

On the 9th of February 2018, the European Commission published its report on the Workshop on Future Battery Technologies for Energy Storage.


Battery technologies are set to play an important role in Europe’s Energy Union Framework Strategy. Batteries are one of the 10 key actions identified in the Integrated SET-Plan, which sets the objective for Europe to “Become competitive in the global battery sector to drive e- mobility and energy storage forward”.

On 10th January 2018, the European Commission gathered the relevant research stakeholders to identify the long-term (+10 years) scientific and technological challenges that could be addressed by a large-scale R&I initiative under the Future and Emerging Technologies programme. The focus of the workshop was on future and emerging energy storage technologies for e-mobility and stationary applications. The participants, from academia and industry, were asked to answer the following three main questions:

  • What would be the grand Science and Technology challenge(s) in the area of future battery technologies?
  • Why would addressing this grand S&T challenge(s) be good for Europe?
  • How could Europe best address this grand S&T challenge(s)?

As a result of the discussions, it emerges that for e-mobility, the key challenge is to develop new battery technologies that can deliver high performance levels and achieve radical gains (in terms of energy density >400Wh/kg, power density, lifetime, energy efficiency, cost, fast charging and safety) and that incorporate smart functionalities from the cell to the battery system. In addition, the manufacturability and scalability of any new battery technology have to be addressed from the beginning of the development; this requires the availability of flexible pilot production facilities.

For stationary energy storage, the key challenge is to develop new technologies that achieve significant performance with regards to lifetime (cycling and calendar) and cost, with a targeted cost below 0.05 euro/kWh/cycle by 2030.

In both cases, future technologies should reduce the dependence on critical materials and should be produced along sustainable value chains from mining to recycling. Significant synergies between the two application sectors were also highlighted.

Addressing these challenges would significantly contribute to achieving many of Europe’s energy, transport, industrial and environmental policy targets; e.g. by creating a sustainable and secured energy storage value chain in Europe while also providing a competitive advantage to our industry; by strengthening the EU position in the automotive e-mobility market; by tackling pressing environmental and societal issues such as air quality and climate change and by reducing Europe’s dependence on critical raw materials.

The workshop confirmed that Europe has all the necessary capabilities and competences for positioning itself in this strategic sector. It also confirmed that a large-scale research initiative on next generation battery technologies could accelerate their emergence and their take-up by European industry. This long-term R&I actions should explore and mature the potential material chemistries that could provide by 2030 the needed radical improvement in terms of performances. It should adopt a multi-step approach whereby the TRL should be increased from breakthrough ideas to high TRL close to production over a 10 years period. It should focus on primarily on e-mobility while considering synergies with other sectors, like stationary applications.

Building on the promising outcome of this workshop, and other actions in the context of the European Battery Alliance, the EC called on all the research actors in Europe to work further together in order to deliver a commonly agreed long term research agenda for such an ambitious large-scale research initiative.


    In: Electrification, Environment & Energy, Growth & Competitiveness, Research & Innovation
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