In a significant move to fortify the United States' role in the renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) sectors, the US Department of Energy (DoE) is set to make available up to USD 3.5 billion (EUR 3.2bn) from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding initiative aims to enhance domestic production capabilities for advanced batteries and battery materials, recognizing their pivotal role in the ongoing transition to sustainable energy solutions.
The allocated funds are earmarked for the establishment of new facilities, retrofitting existing ones, and expanding capacities for the production of battery-grade processed critical minerals, battery precursor materials, battery components, as well as cell and pack manufacturing. This initiative marks the second phase of a total USD 6 billion outlined by the Infrastructure Law. The initial phase supported 15 projects, fostering over USD 5.8 billion in combined public and private investment, as announced by the department last week. The current focus is on advancing next-generation technologies, diverse battery chemistries, and lithium-based technologies.
Acknowledging the anticipated five- to ten-fold growth in the lithium battery market by the end of the decade, primarily driven by the escalating demand for EVs and stationary storage, the DoE underscores the critical need for the US to invest in a robust supply chain for high-capacity batteries. This includes exploring non-lithium alternatives to ensure resilience and diversity in the evolving energy landscape.
The deadline for submitting concept papers is set for January 9, 2024, with full applications due by March 19, 2024, signaling an urgency to drive advancements in the domestic battery production sector. This initiative reflects the US government's commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability in the crucial realm of advanced energy storage technologies.