Last July, the European Commission published the “Fit for 55” Package, a set of 13 legislative proposals aimed at achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050 in Europe.
The package is an important milestone on the way to net-zero emissions, with an ambitious emissions reduction target of 55% by 2030, compared to year 1990 levels. Through this number of different legislations proposed at once, the European Commission wants to build a coherent framework of combined and interconnected policies to support the EU’s climate and environmental policy. The proposals cover a wide range of fields, such as energy and transport.
Batteries find themselves at crossroads of energy and transport fields, and some pieces of legislation included in the ‘Fit for 55 Package’ could therefore be potentially significant for the battery industry.
Increased share of renewable energy means more storage capacity
In the package, the Renewable Energy Directive aims to increase the share of energy from renewable sources in the European energy system to 40% by 2030. Batteries will be fundamental to achieve this objective. Renewable energy production (from wind and water turbines, solar farms and plants for instance) is fluctuating and non-continuous as it depends on environmental and weather conditions. Batteries represent the solution to store renewable energy and release it into the electrical grid when no renewable energy is generated. Thus, batteries are key to provide stability to the electricity grid, preventing any shortage. The ambitious Renewable Energy Directive is in line with our project, as BALIHT battery will store and release energy generated by photovoltaic cells.
The push for zero-emission vehicles will rely on wide and reliable charging infrastructures
The package also includes a strong focus on the reduction of emissions generated by vehicle fleets. In the proposed CO2 Emissions Performance Standards for Cars and Vans Regulation, the European Commission sets targets to reduce emissions of new cars by 55% in 2030 and 100% from 2035. To meet these objectives, the Commission wants all new cars registered as of 2035 to be zero-emission. This proposal will therefore favour the development of hybrid or full electric vehicles (EVs). Batteries play a key role to power EVs, and the battery demand should therefore skyrocket.
If EVs are to become the main category in the whole vehicle fleet in Europe as of 2035, the continent should rely on a much wider and more reliable network of charging infrastructures across the continent than it currently stands. This key challenge has been identified by the European Commission and is addressed in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation of the package. This proposal requires Member states to expand charging capacity in line with zero-emission car sales, and to ensure a minimum coverage of recharging points on the road network in their territory.
This push for the full coverage of EVs charging infrastructure in Europe will have to take in account the need to use renewable sources. Therefore, the charging points should be equipped with stationary batteries aimed at storing renewables and releasing energy to charge the EVs. This is exactly the objective and the main result expected of our project: our battery will store energy generated by photovoltaic panels and will release it later for electric vehicles charging at Ibiza’s Botofac harbour station.
The decarbonisation of transport and battery production
In its Emission Trade System revision included in the ‘Fit for 55’ Package, the European Commission wants emissions from aviation and shipping to be covered under the ETS scope. Energy storage could here again provide solutions to decarbonise both these sectors, as a cleaner way to power their fleets.
However, batteries can only be considered as a key feature to reach carbon-neutrality if their own carbon footprint is minimal. In that perspective, the Commission proposes a new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, whose purpose is to implement a carbon price on imports of targeted products. The aim is to ensure that products imported in Europe will not represent an unfair competition for products manufactured in Europe, which must comply with strict European environmental and social standards. This ambition is in line with the proposal on carbon footprint included in the draft Batteries Regulation.
BALIHT project takes in account the carbon footprint of its battery through the whole value chain. The project includes a LCA assessment and a study on the environmental impact of the battery production and use. BALIHT battery will rely on organic electrolytes to lower the use of unsustainable and hazardous raw materials.
BALIHT therefore welcomes the ‘Fit for 55′ Package as the project’s objectives are in line to contribute to the ambitions and objectives set in the various pieces of legislation presented by the European Commission: extended use of renewable sources in the energy system; development of electric fleet and charging infrastructures; and lower batteries’ carbon footprint.