UK inquiry probes future for battery and fuel cell technologies

by John Shepherd
UK prime minister Boris Johnson speaking at the virtual UN Climate Action Roundtable last September.
A parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the role of battery and fuel cell technologies in supporting the UK’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Businesses and individual members of the public are being invited to submit evidence to the inquiry by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.

The committee said it wants to find out if the UK has the "workforce and skillsets" that will be needed for future battery and fuel cells research and manufacture.

The inquiry is also considering what changes in technologies can be expected over the next 10 years, such as in energy density, capacity, charging times, lifetimes and cost reduction.

In addition, the committee is investigating supply chain issues, "life-cycle environmental impacts" associated with batteries and fuel cells”, how batteries can be integrated into the UK energy system, and to what extent batteries, including those from vehicles, can be used for energy storage and grid frequency management.

A statement published by the committee said UK climate goals "will require considerable scaling up of the manufacture of batteries and deployment of charging infrastructure, as well as advances in the energy density, capacity and charging times of battery systems”.

The committee said it also wants to hear about the potential role for battery and fuel cell technologies in sectors such as aviation, agricultural machinery and heat production – and "how these technologies will interact with the wider energy system, such as the use of batteries as energy storage on the electricity grid”.

Submissions to the inquiry should be made by 29 March. See the link below.