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Did You Know? October 2022

Did you know that while the western world focuses on going green and decarbonization, Asia – primarily China – is heading in the opposite direction? It is reported that China is responsible for more than half of the new coal power generation station capacity being built around the world. According to the Global Energy Monitor, globally, the number of coal power generating stations is substantially growing and outpacing the closure of western fossil fueled power plants. I guess they’re opening them faster than we’re closing them, so who is the winner here?

Did you know the Highway Traffic Safety Administration of Florida has issued an executive statement regarding the immediate guidance in response to fires produced by electric vehicles (EV’s) in the wake of Hurricane Ian? Compromised as a result of lithium batteries corroding from exposure to salt water across the southwest coast of Florida, it appears, that much of the guidance on submerged vehicles does not address specific risks associated with exposure of EV’s to saltwater. The bigger question is, how did the EV owners charge their vehicles during the blackouts that followed Ian?

Did you know the UK just announced it will invest £211 million in battery innovation to make it a global leader in battery technology? However, that is a minute amount compared to the USA’s investment. According to Reuters, the Biden administration is awarding $2.8 billion in grants to boost US production of EV batteries and the minerals used to build them. Is this on top of the billions of dollars allocated for electrical related industry sectors in the “Infrastructure Bill” and The Inflation Reduction Act? Reminds me a little bit of Solyndra and A123. Whatever happened to the $535M of government money thrown at Solyndra and an estimated $500M sunk into A123 anyway?

It seems like everybody is getting into the energy storage business these days. Did you know that car manufacturing giant General Motors has said it is starting its own energy storage business? It will be called GM Energy, and is, I quote, “a holistic ecosystem of energy management products and services.” Sounds more like it is going to be a case of General Everything Power and Energy Related, having a stated interest in stationary storage, solar products, microgrid solutions and hydrogen fuel cells. Maybe it’s looking for a chunk of the government money described above.

Look for the next issue of this column where there may be a slant towards “lead is not dead” and a look at how Lithium-Ion technologies may be in the “hot seat” when it comes to energy storage.

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