ARN receives MIT subsidy for research
ARN is currently working on a feasibility study of stationary 2nd-life uses for lithium-ion batteries, such as an energy storage system for solar energy for households. This study has partly been made possible by a subsidy that ARN received earlier this year from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in the framework of the SME innovation support scheme for top sectors 2014 (MIT).
Together with its project partner DNV GL – formerly KEMA Nederland – ARN has for some time now been studying 2nd-life uses for lithium-ion batteries from hybrid and fully electric cars. One possibility is that, after a battery has been used, it can become a component of stationary energy storage systems, such as a storage system for sustainably generated energy in households. But a number of obstacles have to be overcome. ‘This is why we’re first doing a feasibility study of this solution. And to carry this out, we have received a subsidy from RVO. The subsidy covers about 40 percent of the total costs, and, given the importance of this knowledge for ARN, ARN is contributing the rest,’ explained Hector Timmers, project manager at ARN.
Charting the obstacles
ARN wants to use this feasibility study to explore how large any environmental gains could be by such a use of old car batteries. Only then will it be clear if the government is willing to support the project. ‘We are making a carbon footprint together with DNV GL. If it appears that major environmental gains can be made, the Dutch government could perhaps consider a legislative change,’ Timmers continued. ‘That’s necessary because the Management of Batteries Decree focuses on preventing dumping or incineration of batteries. The law says nothing about reusing them. In this connection, we also have to look at the manufacturer’s responsibility. Who is responsible for a battery used in a new way, one for which it wasn’t designed? The study will continue until next April. Upon completion, we’ll make a final summary, which will be published by the RVO.’
About the SME innovation support scheme for top sectors (MIT)
The MIT scheme is part of the Dutch government’s Top Sector policy and is implemented by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The grant scheme focuses on 9 top sectors of industry, including High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) and Life Sciences & Health. The fiscal facility is intended to stimulate collaboration and innovation among small and medium enterprises.
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