With electrification set to be one of the main pathways to decarbonisation, batteries as electricity storage devices will become one of the key enablers of a low-carbon economy. Given their capacity to integrate more renewables into our energy systems and their ability to green the industry and transport sectors, with spill over effects on the electrification on many additional sectors, global demand for batteries are expected to grow very rapidly over the coming years, making the market for batteries a very strategic one.

Consequently, batteries are key for boosting EU’s industrial leadership and strategic autonomy at a time of an ongoing global battery competition. While EU producers are well established in more traditional battery markets, including the lead-acid batteries market, entering the markets for batteries with high power and energy density is crucial to embrace e-mobility and facilitate home energy storage.

To build up a viable manufacturing sector in Europe and consolidate technological and industrial leadership, the European Commission has identified batteries as a strategic value chain where the EU must step up investment and innovation to strengthen the industrial policy strategy. The new and comprehensive governance framework of the energy union, as well as the strategic action plan on batteries from May 2018, are important steps that will help build a globally integrated, sustainable and competitive industrial base.  

Batteries Europe

Batteries Europe was established by the European Commission in 2019 and is the research and innovation platform of the European Battery Alliance (EBA). It is a research and innovation platform, gathering public and private stakeholders along the whole value chain of battery production.

The Batteries Europe platform was announced at the Clean Energy Industrial Forum in Brussels (5 February 2019) and the first stakeholder gathering of  Batteries Europe took place on 25 June 2019 under the leadership of Vice-President Maroš Šefčovic. On 22 October 2019, Batteries Europe elected its nine-member Governing Board.

Key tasks

  • Deliver a strong research and innovation strategy on batteries along the whole value chain. The strategy should help industry and governments to make good choices for their research spending on batteries. At EU level, this strategy on batteries provides a useful framework for partnership in future research projects on batteries, as foreseen under the Horizon Europe programme. 
  • Foster cooperation of numerous battery research and innovation initiatives at EU, national and companies’ levels. These include future battery partnership under Horizon Europe, Member States-led important projects of common European interest (IPCEIs) which are focussed on battery research and interregional partnership on advanced battery materials.
  • Guarantee consistency between what happens at national level and between Member States, also beyond IPCEIs. The group of national and regional representatives of Batteries Europe will be instrumental in this respect.
  • Ensure a one-stop access to all involved Commission structures.

Contact the Batteries Europe secretariat:

SET Plan action on batteries

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) is a central pillar of the EU’s energy and climate policy. SET Plan was revised in 2015 to help realise the research and innovation priorities of the energy union, particularly in relation to the development of low-carbon technologies.

The SET Plan research priorities on batteries were published in November 2017 and include several research and innovation activities that will make the battery value chain in Europe more competitive. The activities are structured around three focus areas:

  • material/chemistry/design and recycling
  • manufacturing
  • application and integration

The SET Plan priorities on batteries have in the meantime been supported by increased battery research and innovation funding , through the Horizon 2020 research programme.

Simultaneously, a number of Member States are teaming up for important projects of the common European Interest (IPCEI) on batteries research and innovation. Interregional partnership on advanced regional materials also contributes to the achievement of SET Plan objectives for batteries.

Since 2019, the governance of SET Plan action (7) on batteries is ensured by the Batteries Europe platform.

BRIDGE initiative

BRIDGE is a cooperation group involving all main energy smart grid and energy storage projects, funded under the Horizon 2020 program since 2014. 

In 2018, the group published a report “How the BRIDGE projects are addressing the battery topic” which was based on input from 15 projects, most involved in battery integration in the energy system. Amongst the main findings, the report highlights that 

  • most of the demonstration sites involving batteries are located in Southern Europe and on islands (where batteries make the highest economic sense)
  • different battery technologies are tested within H2020 projects, even if lithium-ion batteries were the most widely used
  • batteries are tested at all levels of energy system for different use cases
  • new market designs and business models are being elaborated by the H2020 projects in order to make these new services economically viable
  • batteries from electric vehicles are involved in the use of second-life batteries (from EVs and smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications)

The BATSTORM project (2016-2018)

This Horizon 2020 funded project was set up to identify and support research and development needs in the area of battery-based energy storage.

The final report explains the context for the fast development of battery-based stationary storage; battery technologies used in stationary storage and their strength and weaknesses; different use cases for battery storage throughout the energy system; main research priorities as well as accompanying measures needed for enabling storage. In addition, it analyses battery related policies in selected Member States and suggests a non-exclusive list of good practices and practices to avoid. On each of this subject there is a separate document offering more detailed information and insights.

As battery technology, batteries market and relevant policies change by the day, the deliverables produced within this project do not represent an accurate picture of the current state of play. At the same time most principles and recommendations are likely to stay valid still for the years to come. A number of the recommendations stemming from the project have already been addressed/ are being addressed in the context of the Strategic Action Plan for Batteries.

BATSTORM - related documents