In its latest report on the state of the sector in the continent, the Commission includes the main advances and challenges of energy storage technologies, also pointing out the strategic role of projects such as Basquevolt, the second spin-off of CIC energiGUNE.

CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in battery storage, thermal energy solutions and hydrogen technologies, and member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance-BRTA, has been recognized as an “outstanding example” in the field of battery research and development by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

In its recent report “Batteries for Energy Storage in the European Union”, the main executive body of the continent reviews the current state of the battery industry in Europe, as well as its main trends and technological challenges. In this context, the study points out CIC energiGUNE as one of the reference centers in R&D both at state and community level, thanks to the work carried out to date in the different branches of scientific research associated with energy storage and batteries.

In this way, the Basque Center, a strategic initiative supported by the Basque Government and the Provincial Council of Alava, has been highlighted alongside other major institutions such as the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (France), the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Italy) or the Fraunhofer Gesells Alliance (Germany).

These entities are highlighted within the publication thanks to their lines of research around innovation and development of energy storage technologies, which are expected to contribute to building a competitive European battery manufacturing industry based on the principles of clean energy and circular economy.

In fact, all of them are part of important scientific programs such as Horizon Europe, highlighted by the Commission in its report and where CIC energiGUNE participates in different initiatives, leading some as relevant as the HELENA project, which aims to establish the development of the future generation of batteries based on solid electrolyte.

The report itself highlights this solid-state technology as one of the major future trends in the industry, together with other advances such as cobalt free batteries (with NMC, NCA or NMCA cathodes) or solutions based on LFP cathodes. All of them are alternatives in which the work of CIC energiGUNE stands out.

The Commission also highlights the importance of the activity of this type of centers in the current race between Europe and other geographical areas such as North America and Asia. It is not in vain that this last region leads (through China, Japan and South Korea) the development and technological innovation around batteries through different publications and patents. Hence the importance that the study attributes to the R&D activity developed by research centers such as CIC energiGUNE.

The European Commission highlights CIC energiGUNE as one of the European reference centers in battery research and development

Basquevolt, among the key companies for the European Commission

Beyond scientific and technological activity, the European Commission also analyzes in its study the current role and future role of companies in the development of the European battery sector.

In this regard, the report highlights the implementation of European origin, giving as an example Basquevolt, the Basque initiative for the production of solid-state batteries promoted by the Basque Government together with a consortium of companies and entities including Iberdrola, CIE Automotive, Enagás, EIT InnoEnergy and CIC energiGUNE.

The Commission’s analysis values the importance of projects such as BAsquevolt both because of their need to guarantee the future demand for batteries on the continent (expected to be around 1,000 GWh in 2030) and because they are initiatives based on 100% European knowledge and technology, thus reducing dependence on third regions such as Asia or North America. Not in vain, Basquevolt is born from the research work developed in  the last 10 years by CIC energiGUNE in the field of solid-state batteries, a technology called to play an “important role” in the future according to the report.

In addition, the Commission also highlights the economic and strategic value of developing this type of initiative to attract new companies and suppliers to establish a solid industrial value chain around batteries and their components. Especially, in order to develop capacities in critical stages such as the extraction of raw materials (where Europe, due to its available resources, is at a disadvantage) or the recycling and second life of batteries (aimed at compensating for this deficit of raw materials through the “circularity” of the industry).

To this end, it seeks to promote the development of strategies and lines of action that promote the use of circular materials, in order to reduce Europe’s dependence on other regions and countries. In this sense, both CIC energiGUNE and Basquevolt work in line with the “Basque Country Circular Economy Strategy 2030”, approved by the Basque Government in 2020 and which lays the foundations for the achievement of these objectives set by the EU.

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