On June 7, 2019, I had the privilege of testifying in Washington, D.C. before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on the subject of China's growing dominance of lithium-ion battery manufacturing. The written statement that accompanied my testimony is reproduced below: Introduction My name is James Greenberger and I am the Executive Director of NAATBatt International. NAATBatt is a trade association of advanced battery manufacturers and their supply chain partners doing business in North America. Today, NAATBatt has 110 corporate members, including major automobile manufacturers, electric utilities, equipment manufacturers, battery cell and pack manufacturers, chemical companies, energy materials suppliers and professional [...]
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There has been a lot of recent talk about shortages of energy materials (i.e., lithium, hi-grade nickel and cobalt) imperiling the future of lithium-ion battery manufacturing in North America. While much of that talk is sensationalized (we are not about to run out of lithium in the world), the United States’ failure to invest in stabilizing sources of energy material supply may put the United States at a long term disadvantage in the global competition for lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity and expertise. Properly understood, the energy materials supply chain challenge in North America consists of two problems: The market price [...]
NAATBatt International was shaken by news of the fire and explosion last week at Arizona Public Service’s McMicken Energy Storage facility in Surprise, Arizona. Four firefighters were hurt in the explosion, two of them seriously. First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and their families. The McMicken incident hit particularly close to home for NAATBatt. A little more than five weeks ago, NAATBatt members toured the McMicken facility at the invitation of APS. The facility appeared to be state-of-the-art and well-maintained. It is hard to imagine what exactly went wrong. An investigation of the McMicken incident [...]
The push for vehicle electrification in the early part of the 21st Century initially came, not from concerns about climate change, but from concerns that the U.S. economy was becoming dangerously dependent upon a single natural resource (petroleum), the supply of which forces outside the United States could disrupt. As vehicle electrification moves from theory to reality, it is important that the United States not repeat past mistakes and become dependent upon foreign supplies of strategic energy materials it does not control. Although scientists keep working on alternatives, the best judgment of those involved in advanced battery technology is that [...]