InoBat today confirmed the order of one storage unit from ESS and together with CEZ, the companies will test, adapt and further develop this revolutionary energy storage technology for the European market. This first milestone falls in line with the EU’s 2050 Carbon-Free Strategy and further advances the adoption of clean and sustainable energy solutions. The joint cooperation, InoBat Energy, has the potential to revolutionise the entire energy storage landscape. By providing a strategic battery solution that addresses the issues of Europe’s technological independence and energy security, InoBat Energy falls in line with the EU’s core strategic priorities, while offering a unique opportunity for the enhancement of both, the Czech and Slovak economies. InoBat Energy will start testing the battery using CEZ’s utilities in the first quarter of 2020, with a long-term view of building a mass production line once the batteries are adapted for the EU market.
Building on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the parties in May this year, InoBat purchased one storage unit from ESS Inc., a leading US manufacturer of safe, low-cost and long-duration energy storage systems. Aiming to expand its global reach to Europe by leveraging the region’s strong manufacturing and energy heritage, ESS will for the first time ever bring its proprietary salt water and iron-based technology to the Danube Valley region. “We are thrilled to collaborate with ESS to advance the stationary energy storage market in Europe and to provide the region with a solution supporting the current trend of electrification and decarbonisation towards a greener and more sustainable future,” commented Marian Bocek, InoBat’s Executive Chairman.
One of InoBat’s core goals is to connect the world’s leading technologies with premiere industry leaders in order to create complex value chains that will provide Europe with much-needed energy storage solutions, from R&D through production, to large-scale application. InoBat’s partnership with renowned energy supplier CEZ envisages a unique opportunity to test, adapt and further develop ESS’s technology for the European market, with a long-term view of building a production line serving the European clean energy producers and electric vehicle charging stations. ”CEZ is one of Central Europe’s most well-established and long-standing energy players. With the trends towards electrification and more sustainable sources of energy taking more and more space in the sector, it is the Company’s aim to continuously pursue innovative and cutting-edge solutions to serve its ever-growing customer base with a greener future,” said David Hajman, Director for Strategy at CEZ.
This cross-border cooperation between InoBat and CEZ is one of the first concrete projects emerging from the large-encompassing bilateral agreement between the Slovak and the Czech Republic signed in October 2018. Among others, Prime Ministers of both countries agreed to strengthen their countries’ cooperation in the energy sector, with the aim to build an energy union, that would ensure both energy security and global competitiveness. “With its strong manufacturing background and a positive experience with the implementation of innovative solutions, Central European countries may act as a Petri dish – they are unable to compare directly with big players but they can undertake challenges of a different kind – as the storage solutions need to be developed, tried and implemented, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have the ability to do that,“ commented Vojtech Ferencz, First State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic. “We welcome innovators that strive to enhance the Czech, Slovak and European economy thanks to the unique R&D components and complex solutions such as InoBat Energy. We need such strategic energy storage solutions, such as those that the EU is searching for in order to secure its technological and overall energy independence,” added Rene Nedela, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
In line with the EU’s 2050 Carbon-Free Strategy, battery manufacturing is one of the keys to supporting of clean and carbon-less alternatives. Housing some of the world’s strongest economies, the EU has become a global leader in promoting green and innovative solutions. The demand for batteries has rapidly grown in recent years and the EU is predicted to be the second largest single market for utility-scale energy storage batteries. A variety of technologies to store electricity are being developed at a fast pace and are increasingly becoming more market competitive, but there are significant challenges in terms of limited access to grids and excessive fees. Moreover, the EU is estimated to be 5 years behind in its battery technology development and the demand for powerful batteries will greatly surpass local supply. According to Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the Energy Union and founder of the European Battery Alliance, “by pulling together, we have given traction to impressive industrial and innovation dynamics, thus enabling EU companies to take an undisputable lead in this strategic sector. The EU Battery Alliance should serve as a test-case to build our long-term vision for Europe’s industrial policy centred on strategic value chains, in this and other key sectors, and on joined-up investment.“
The InoBat Energy cooperation represents a unique opportunity to personalise the Slovak and Czech transition from manufacturing to knowledge based economies, while providing Europe with a much-needed solution for a carbon-free and sustainable future.