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Columbia Energy Tech Revolution Forum — Beyond Lithium-Ion: What Can We Expect from New Battery Tech?

Past Event

November 10, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm utc

The Center on Global Energy Policy presents the Columbia Energy Technology Revolution Forum, a new webinar series hosted by Paul Dabbar, CGEP Distinguished Visiting Fellow and former Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. The series focuses on frank, practical, scientific and technological discussions on the prospects of new technologies in the energy world. Each session brings together experts to focus on a different energy technology.

Energy technologies in the last twenty years have advanced significantly, and much of what is currently being deployed, including now-prevalent technologies such as solar, wind, batteries, and advanced drilling, was not commercially available in the not-so-distant past. In the last 10-15 years, public and private R&D has significantly advanced a long list of new technologies that are now competitive without government incentives.

Much of the current dialogue from energy policy makers focuses on existing technologies; this forum instead addresses what is next in new and emerging technologies. The forum helps inform the audience of the state of various technologies, their prospects to make further contributions to the energy mix, and how these technologies should be further invested in, from basic discovery through deployment.

The second session was co-hosted by the Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center (CEEC) and included a welcome by Dr. Dan Steingart, Stanley-Thompson Associate Professor of Chemical Metallurgy and Co-Director Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center, Columbia University. The session featured two leaders of large efforts to develop new battery chemistries that are beyond current Lithium-Ion technologies. Dr. Esther Takeuchi, Chair of the Interdisciplinary Science Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at SUNY Stony Brook, is a leader in the multidisciplinary field of energy storage technology, and holds more than 180 patents. She was joined by Dr. George Crabtree, Director, Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), Argonne National Laboratory and University of Illinois at Chicago.

This discussion focused on the state of new potential battery chemistries that could significantly perform better than lithium-ion, and at lower costs. Panelists reviewed specific chemistry possibilities for different applications, and discussed the Energy Storage Grand Challenge targets and policies that could accelerate a 60-80% improvement over Li-Ion performance.