Washington, D.C. – The Energy Subcommittee today held a hearing to examine the state of large-scale battery storage and recent technology breakthroughs achieved through research and development (R&D) at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The hearing also highlighted how innovative companies are transitioning basic science research in battery storage technology to the commercial market.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “Battery storage is the next frontier in energy research and development.  Advanced batteries will help bring affordable renewable energy to the market without costly subsidies or renewable energy mandates. This will allow us to take advantage of energy from the diverse natural resources available across the country. Prioritizing the ongoing partnership between the national labs and American entrepreneurs can develop next generation battery technologies and keep America at the forefront of battery science.”

American entrepreneurs have invested over $5 billion in battery research and development over the last decade, which has helped fuel a renaissance in new battery technology. Just this week, the tech company Tesla announced it will expand into the battery market, manufacturing home batteries to help consumers cut costs and to provide back-up power to their homes. And Tesla’s potential large-scale utility batteries can be used to store energy from renewable power generation.

While the private sector funding will deploy next generation battery technology into the energy marketplace, witnesses testified that the federal government should invest in basic research and development that can revolutionize battery technology.

Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas): “Cost effective, large-scale batteries could change the way we power our homes, reduce infrastructure improvement costs, and allow renewable energy to add power to the electric grid without compromising reliability or increasing consumer costs. Although large-scale battery storage has been available for decades, there is still more work to be done. Fundamental research and development into the atomic and molecular structure of batteries is needed to better understand the operation, performance limitations, and failures of battery technology. At our national labs, we have the facilities and expertise necessary to conduct this basic research.”

The following witnesses testified:

Dr. Imre Gyuk, Energy Storage Program Manager, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Department of Energy

Dr. Jud Virden, Jr., Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Mr. Phil Giudice, Chief Executive Officer, Ambri

Jay Whitacre, Chief Technology Officer, Aquion Energy


For more information on the hearing, including testimony and the archived webcast, visit the Committee website.