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Berkeley Lab hosts UC-industry battery workshop; bridging the gap in applied research

Berkeley Lab hosted a battery research workshop last week to explore what role researchers in the University of California (UC) system can play in bridging the gap between science research and technology deployment of new batteries.

A new battery technology can take decades to develop, Lab battery scientist Venkat Srinivasan, who is also deputy director of the Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), said in his introductory presentation. One key problem is a gap in the technology-readiness-level (TRL) spectrum between the basic and applied science end of the spectrum and the technology maturation end of the spectrum, he said.

The purpose of this workshop is to see what role UC can play in bridging the gap in applied research, Srinivasan said.

The workshop addressed the need for energy storage for both transportation and the grid. The keynote speaker was California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild. Other speakers included Susan Kennedy, former chief of staff of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and now CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions, and Mark Verbrugge of GM and the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC).

In the next few weeks, a set of recommendations and a roadmap for next steps will be distributed.

This is the beginning of the conversation. We plan to build on this meeting and organize smaller working groups focused on specific topics such as understanding the broader trends on the grid and the roadmap of where storage technologies need to be in the next five, 10, and 20 years.

—Venkat Srinivasan


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