Energy Department Allocating $3.1B to Support Battery Supply Chain

May 2, 2022 by Dan McCue
Energy Department Allocating $3.1B to Support Battery Supply Chain
The U.S. has a strong R&D pipeline encompassing discovery of new materials, material and device manufacturing, performance characterization, and recycling. (Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy is making $3.1 billion in funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law available to manufacturers and other commercial entities involved in making, retrofitting and recycling lithium-ion batteries. 

The investment is part of the Biden administration’s effort to have more batteries and components made in the U.S. by bolstering domestic supply chains while creating good-paying jobs and lowering costs to consumers, department officials said.

The Energy Department is also making a separate $60 million available to support “second-life” applications for batteries once they’ve been used to power electric vehicles, as well as new processes to recycle materials back into the battery supply chain.

Both funding opportunities are key components of the administration’s whole-of-government supply chain strategy to strengthen America’s energy independence and support the president’s goal to have electric vehicles make up half of all vehicles sales in America by 2030, said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a written statement.   

“Positioning the United States front and center in meeting the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our competitiveness and electrify our transportation system,” she explained.

“President Biden’s historic investment in battery production and recycling will give our domestic supply chain the jolt it needs to become more secure and less reliant on other nations — strengthening our clean energy economy, creating good paying jobs, and decarbonizing the transportation sector,” she said.

According to a recent Energy Department report, National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, 2021-2030, the global lithium-ion battery market is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

As of the end of March, more than 2.5 million plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in America, with more than 800,000 of those having been sold since Biden took office in January 2019. 

The report notes that battery costs have fallen more than 90% since 2008, and energy density and performance have increased rapidly, these developments are helping to pave the way for an even faster transition to zero-emission vehicles. 

But to seal the deal, Granholm  and other officials say, responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries – such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite – is a must.

“Nevada’s innovation economy is at the forefront of battery manufacturing and recycling, and the infrastructure law could bring vital new investments to the state,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., who was among those who made sure funding for the sector was included in the infrastructure package.

“These grants to grow U.S. battery manufacturing are going to create good-paying jobs, spur our economic competitiveness, and help us combat the climate crisis,” she said.

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., another supporter of the funding, said in a statement that he believes the funding announced Monday “could help to ensure Michigan remains on the forefront of innovation by shoring up our supply chains for advanced battery technologies.”

“The future of mobility is electric,” Peters said. “I was proud to help secure this funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to lessen our dependence on foreign producers like the Chinese government for these critical technologies — and help our automakers meet the growing demand for cleaner, safer cars.” 

Of course, Democrats aren’t the only people on Capitol Hill pushing to accelerate production of battery materials that are needed to power electric vehicles.

Republicans Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, James Risch, R-Idaho, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Democrat Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. signed a bipartisan letter to Biden in March urging him to  invoke the Defense Production Act to bolster America’s critical mineral supply chains.

“In order to address the threats to our national security, we respectfully request that you invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate domestic production of lithium-ion battery materials, in particular graphite, manganese, cobalt, nickel, and lithium,” the letter said. “Our dependence on foreign-sourced cobalt and lithium is elevated as the processing of both is dominated by China.”

Between 2017 and 2020, China, a geopolitical competitor of the U.S. that recently introduced supply chain disrupting lockdowns in a bid to stamp out COVID-19 outbreaks, accounted for 78% of rare-earth compounds and metals imports to the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-
  • batteries
  • Department of Energy
  • electric vehicles
  • Jennifer Granholm
  • Lithium Ion batteries
  • supply chain
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Renewable Energy

    April 20, 2024
    by Jesse Zucker
    Earth Day Raises Awareness of Environmental Impacts on Health and Wellness

    WASHINGTON — As plants, trees and flowers continue to greet the season, one month into spring marks a worldwide occasion:... Read More

    WASHINGTON — As plants, trees and flowers continue to greet the season, one month into spring marks a worldwide occasion: Earth Day. Earth Day has been observed on April 22 every year since 1970 as a global moment to raise environmental awareness. Let’s look at a... Read More

    Climate Change Concerns Grow, but Few Think Biden's Climate Law Will Help, an AP-NORC Poll Finds

    Like many Americans, Ron Theusch is getting more worried about climate change. A resident of Alden, Minnesota, Theusch has noticed increasingly... Read More

    Like many Americans, Ron Theusch is getting more worried about climate change. A resident of Alden, Minnesota, Theusch has noticed increasingly dry and mild winters punctuated by short periods of severe cold — symptoms of a warming planet. As he thinks about that, future generations are on his... Read More

    2023 Was a Record Year for Wind Installations as World Ramps Up Clean Energy, Report Says

    The world installed 117 gigawatts of new wind power capacity in 2023, a 50% increase from the year before, making... Read More

    The world installed 117 gigawatts of new wind power capacity in 2023, a 50% increase from the year before, making it the best year for new wind projects on record, according to a new report by the industry's trade association. The latest Global Wind Report, published Tuesday... Read More

    April 15, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    EPA Finalizes Permit for Largest Offshore Wind Farm in US

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a key air quality permit to Dominion Energy’s planned offshore... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a key air quality permit to Dominion Energy’s planned offshore wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The agency issued the project’s final Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf air quality permit on April... Read More

    April 12, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Shopping Mall Finds It’s Not Always Easy to Go Green

    NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — With a nod toward Kermit the Frog, it’s not always easy going green, no matter how... Read More

    NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — With a nod toward Kermit the Frog, it’s not always easy going green, no matter how good one's intentions. At least that appears to be the experience of shopping center giant Tanger, which wants to install solar panels on six of the... Read More

    April 11, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Administration Promoting ‘Responsible’ Clean Energy Projects on Public Lands

    WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris administration on Thursday unveiled the latest steps it is taking to promote responsible clean energy development... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris administration on Thursday unveiled the latest steps it is taking to promote responsible clean energy development on public lands while continuing to nudge the nation closer to the president’s goal of creating a carbon-free energy sector by 2035. Since President Joe Biden... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top