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Research on electric energy storage needs to continue

Image of purplish lithium batteries

Research on electric energy storage needs to continue

Authorities of four Polish universities, Jagiellonian University, AGH University of Krakow, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Warsaw, are calling on the Polish government to continue actions aimed at initiating a government financing programme for the establishment of an energy storage industry based on electrochemical ion cell technology, with particular focus on sodium-ion cells.

Building a battery factory in Poland, which would operate based on technologies with secured resources and processes developed at Polish universities, is particularly important in view of the need to ensure the country's energy security and maintain the competitiveness of the economy.

Both the Ministry of Climate and Environment as well as the Polish scientific community agree that to use renewable energy it needs to be stored in lithium-ion or sodium-ion cells.  Storing energy from renewable sources becomes a key element of the ongoing energy transformation which should be based on own resources and technologies. The geopolitical situation on the market of energy resources and critical components demands the establishment of a Polish energy storage industry with ion systems based on a secured domestic delivery chain with the participation of Polish science. The Polish universities have patent-protected technologies for all cell components at their disposal.

For this reason, in May 2023, a letter of intent was signed on cooperation for the development of Polish ion cell technology for electrochemical energy storage by the aforementioned universities, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, ORLEN S.A., Grupa Azoty S.A., KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., and PGE S.A.

As part of the measures taken so far, the project assumptions, schedule, and material and financial plan have been developed. However, during attempts to obtain funds for the implementation of the project, it was found that it exceeds the financial possibilities of the signatories to the letter, does not fit into the current financing programmes, and thus requires system support from the Polish government.

Hence the current call which emphasises that it is the Polish reason of state to create a programme for financing the construction of an energy storage industry based on ion cell technology. At the same time, the universities’ representatives declare their willingness to present the current state of the project and its further perspectives.