Bar-Ilan University and the Technion have won a call published by the Ministry of Energy for the establishment of a national research institute in the field of energy storage.
The field of energy storage is of great importance for the transition of the economy to clean energy. Energy storage will allow an increasing integration of renewable energy, which is only available during part of the day.
With conventional technologies, growing energy consumption causes greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The goal set by the State of Israel for 2050 is a national energy economy free of greenhouse gas emissions. The way to reach this goal is through a transition to renewable energy sources, such as the sun and wind. Energy production from these sources isn’t steady but fluctuates throughout the day. Therefore, the development of novel technologies for storing energy in large quantities is required. This will be one of the main tasks of the new institute.
The institute will engage in research in sodium-ion batteries that can be less expensive and more available than lithium-ion batteries; improving fuel cell performance; producing green hydrogen efficiently and storing it safely and conveniently; solid-state batteries free of liquid and safer; metal-air based batteries such as iron and zinc that have a very high energy density; novel cables with an increased ability to convey electrical energy and very high power density; and flow batteries that have a large storage capacity.
The new institute will encourage Israel’s energy sector to take a leap forward in response to national strategic challenges, with an eye toward global applications, as well as train cadres of future experts in the field and facilitate the transfer of innovative technologies from the academic environment to industry.
The institute will be led by a joint steering committee of the Ministry of Energy, the research institutions, and outside parties. The steering committee will be headed by Ministry of Energy Chief Scientist Dr. Gideon Friedman, Prof. Doron Aurbach, and Scientific Director of Bar-Ilan University’s Energy and Sustainability Center. Prof. Yoed Tsur, Director of the Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP), will head the new national energy institute.
The institute will be established with a budget of approximately NIS 130 million ($37 million) over five years, of which the Ministry of Energy will invest NIS 100 million, and the winning institutions have pledged to invest an additional NIS 30 million. The Ministry’s investment will enable the purchase of expensive research infrastructure and the establishment of new laboratories.