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Lords committee launches battery decarbonisation inquiry

Battery production begins

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee is calling for evidence to inform its new inquiry into the use of batteries and fuel cells for decarbonisation.

The inquiry and call for evidence will focus on the role of battery and fuel cell technologies in the UK’s ambition to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The committee says that these technologies will be crucial for achieving UK climate ambitions, particularly for the land transport sector where the number of battery-electric vehicles in the UK will need to increase from around 5% of current sales to 100% by 2032.

The Committee is also seeking evidence on the role for battery and fuel cell technology in wider applications such as on the electricity grids.

Lord Patel, committee chair, said: “Battery and fuel cell technologies will be important for achieving the 2050 Net Zero target.

“This must include sizeable increases in the manufacture of batteries and deployment of charging infrastructure. But there also must be advances in the energy density, capacity and charging times of battery systems, in parallel with further cost reduction.

“For heavy transport such as HGVs and trains, batteries and hydrogen fuel cells could also have an important role to play if some of these technical challenges can be overcome.”

He continued: “As part of this important inquiry, the Committee also seeks to understand the potential role for battery and fuel cell technologies in other sectors, for example aviation, agricultural machinery, heat production, and will consider how these technologies will interact with the wider energy system for example, the use of batteries as energy storage on the electricity grid.

“We therefore welcome submissions of evidence on any of these areas to inform our inquiry.”

The call for evidence will be open until 29 March.  Oral evidence sessions will start on Tuesday 9 March.

Focus areas for the inquiry and for submissions:

  • How are battery and fuel cell technologies currently contributing to decarbonisation in the UK?
  • What advances have been made in battery and fuel cell technologies in recent years? What further changes can we expect?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges associated with scaling up the manufacture of batteries and fuel cells in the UK?
  • Is enough support in place to enable the research, innovation and commercialisation of these technologies in the UK?
  • Which countries are currently the leaders in battery and/or fuel cell science and technology? In which areas does the UK have a lead?
  • In what sectors could battery and fuel cell technologies play a significant role?
  • How should battery and fuel cell technologies be integrated into the wider UK energy system?
  • What are the environmental impacts associated with batteries and fuel cells?
  • What are the costs and benefits of using battery and fuel cell technologies in their various applications?

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