July 4, 2014
Élie Saheb, Executive Vice President – Technology at Hydro-Québec, and Alain Rousset, President of the Regional Council of Aquitaine (France), signed an agreement signalling their interest in collaborating in the field of advanced battery materials for transportation electrification.
For a number of industrialized countries, energy storage and the development of high-performance, safe and low-cost battery materials are priority issues. Exponential growth in demand is forecasted for the energy storage market, whose main domains of application are the following:
- Integration of renewable energies (wind, hydrokinetic, photovoltaic, hydropower)
- Quick-charge networks for electric vehicles
- Hybrid or electric vehicles for transportation by road, rail, air and boat and for the defence sector
- Hybrid emergency power supply systems and generators
- Smart buildings and large-scale connected systems
For several years, Hydro-Québec has invested in various technologies to improve the performance and safety of electrochemical batteries.
For its part, the Aquitaine Region has, over the last 15 years, adopted a proactive policy to promote research, innovation and industrial development by allocating some 12% of its budget to such projects. It is home to and supports a number of players involved in energy storage and electric mobility issues.
About Hydro-Québec's research institute
Hydro-Québec's research institute, IREQ, is a global leader in the development of advanced materials for battery manufacturing and creates leading edge processes from its state of the art facilities. IREQ holds more than 800 patent rights and 40 licenses for battery materials used by some of the world's most successful battery manufacturers and materials suppliers. Its areas of expertise include energy storage and is a lead partner with private sector companies in Québec to build EV and HEV charging stations in support of its technology developments. Its material development contributions are helping to develop safe, high-performance lithium ion batteries that can be charged more quickly and a greater number of times. IREQ promotes open innovation and partners with private firms, universities, government agencies and research centers in Québec and abroad. Its partnerships allows IREQ to develop, industrialize and market technologies resulting from those innovation projects.
Hydro-Québec is a public utility that generates, transmits and distributes electricity. It is Canada's largest electricity producer and is among the world's largest hydropower producers. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses almost exclusively renewable generating options, in particular hydropower, and supports the development of other sources of energy, such as wind and biomass, through purchases from independent power producers. Its research institute, IREQ, conducts R&D in energy efficiency, energy storage and other energy-related fields. Hydro-Québec invests $100 million in research every year. www.hydroquebec.com
About the Aquitaine Regional Council
For over 15 years, the Aquitaine Regional Council has focussed on excellence and innovation, to which it allocates nearly 12% of its annual budget.
By fostering collaboration between researchers and manufacturers, supporting R&D programs and encouraging technological transfer, the region has provided each sector with a strong scientific base and the understanding of key technologies that allow them to reinforce and contribute to the competitiveness of Aquitaine's industrial fabric.
Based on Pasteur's quadrant, this strategy focuses on supporting fundamental scientific research underlying Aquitaine's major societal issues: health, an aging population, global warming, etc.
For financial stakeholders, this research targets new skills in order to open up new markets with strong potential and little competition that will generate sustainable growth. This vitality can be seen in the 75% increase in the region's patent production over the past decade.
Aquitaine's model has also had a positive impact on employment, despite particularly difficult economic conditions. Aquitaine remains a leader in company creation. www.aquitaine.fr
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