National energy storage research institute to be established in Israel

National energy storage research institute to be established in Israel
Image: Bar-Ilan University

The new national institute will be responsible for developing new storage technologies and skills to support Israel’s energy sector in meeting the climate challenges.

The Institute, which will see an investment of NIS130 million (US$37 million) over the first five years, is being established at the Bar-Ilan University and the Technion in Tel Aviv and brings together the two main research communities in this area in Israel.

An initiative of the Ministry of Energy, which is contributing NIS100 million (US$28.4 million), its work will focus on developing groundbreaking technologies for the accumulation and conversion of energy using electrochemical methods, establishing systems for training personnel and promoting start-up companies.

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“The national energy centre will be a four-dimensional interface: academia, industry, entrepreneurship and government,” says Professor Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Chemistry, who is a co-head with Professor Yoed Tsur of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Technion.

“It will allow Israel to build an infrastructure to generate green electricity, without carbon signature. The goal is to make Israel a global pioneer in dealing with the climate crisis, which is an energy crisis.”

Electrochemistry is the basis for solutions for both energy storage at all scales and for the hydrogen economy.

Some of the specific energy storage research activities envisaged include sodium-ion batteries that are cheaper and more widely available than lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, air-metal-based batteries such as iron and zinc, supercapacitors and flow batteries.

Others include the improved performance of fuel cells, the more efficient extraction of green hydrogen and storage that is safe and convenient.

The researchers collaborate with energy research groups across the world and have assisted in research and development for industries from many countries.

The scientific steering committee will include Professor Yair Ein-Eli from the Department of Materials Engineering of the Technion as well as Professors Malachi Noked and Lior Elbaz from the Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials at Bar-Ilan University.