CIC energiGUNE, Basque research center leader in electrochemical energy storage, thermal energy storage and conversion and hydrogen technologies, has gathered this morning in Vitoria-Gasteiz more than 150 representatives of the European ecosystem of batteries to analyze the "battery revolution" and note that Europe "needs to achieve its own technology to win the global race with other countries and contenders. In this sense, the work developed in regions such as Euskadi has been highlighted during the day, being a bet that will be "even more reinforced in the coming years" as stated by the Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia at the closing of the event.
Tapia made these statements moments after appointing Professor Michel Armand, "father" of solid-state batteries and reference researcher at the Basque center, as honorary scientific director of CIC energiGUNE. "It is an immense honor; I will give my best to fulfill this responsibility," said Armand after receiving the honorary "makila" symbolizing his new position.
In her speech, Minister Tapia pointed out that the current success of the Basque battery ecosystem is based on three essential pillars (companies, scientific-technological centers and universities) that have positioned the Basque Country as a reference agent in the battery field, with cutting-edge projects.
"I hope to see you here again soon, visiting the Basquevolt facilities," said the minister to the representatives of the European ecosystem gathered in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The day began at 9:00 a.m. with the official inauguration by Nuria Gisbert, general manager of CIC energiGUNE; Ana Oregi, councilor delegate of the Department of Territory and Climate Action; and Pilar García de Salazar, deputy general and deputy for Economic Development and Territorial Balance of the Provincial Council of Alava. In his speech, Gisbert highlighted the great opportunities for work and technology development in Europe that the battery sector is promoting, while Oregi and García de Salazar coincided in pointing out the "pride for Vitoria and Alava to have such an important center as CIC energiGUNE in the Territory".
After the opening, four keynote speeches were given. Robert Dominko, researcher at the University of Ljubljana, member of the board of the European initiative BATTERY 2030+, warned that "we have to make batteries smarter, and for that we have to improve very specific aspects such as cell sensors or self-repair capacity". Johan Söderbom, head of Smartgrids and storage at Innoenergy, pointed out that "electromobility is currently leading the demand for the battery market, but the demand for stationary batteries should not be underestimated to avoid tensions in the industry". He also pointed out as a milestone the "price parity already achieved between electric and combustion vehicles", and the "promising development of sodium-ion technology as a substitute for lithium".
For his part, Wouter IJzermans, executive director of BEPA, warned of the need to create "a value chain and a competitive European industry, for which education and skills, among other aspects, will have to be improved". Finally, Stefan Wolf, team leader at VDI-VDE, presented the IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest), and reviewed the situation in Southern Europe, recalling that the IPCEI are open to new participants.
Afterwards, two round tables were held to discuss the mobility and stationary storage sectors and their future projection. Francisco Carranza, CEO of BASQUEVOLT, together with Txomin Nieva, technology director of CAF Power and Automation, Mikel Lorente, technical director of ACICAE-AIC, and Soraya Romo, general manager of BCARE, took part in the first one.
The second round table, focused on the situation and future of the stationary sector, was attended by Jose Ignacio Hormaeche, general manager of the Basque Energy Cluster; Igor Cantero, general manager of Batiq; Pilar González, representative of the Innovation Department of Perseo-Iberdrola; Jon Ander López, product manager for energy storage applications at Jema Energy; and Josu Arrinda, technical director of the BESS area at Ingeteam. "The success is not in the price or in the reduced cost; it is in the attitude and in the services that we can offer around the battery", they assured.
As pointed out by CIC energiGUNE, holding this meeting in Vitoria-Gasteiz for the second year has been a success in terms of attendance and dissemination, as well as consolidating an event that aims to position the Basque Country as an essential point of reference for batteries in Europe and a unique opportunity to obtain a global vision of the initiatives that are being developed on the continent.