LiNa Energy: Taking low-cost solid-state sodium batteries to India
LiNa Energy is helping the energy sector accelerate the transition to Net Zero, through a safer and more sustainable alternative to lithium-ion. The business responded to a challenge call by Energy Systems Catapult, funded by UKRI.
The scope of the Innovating for Clean Air project was to take part in an incubation project that aimed to address the interrelated challenges of EV uptake and reducing air pollution in India.
LiNA Energy were one of seven SMEs working on electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage solutions selected by Energy Systems Catapult and Social Alpha to receive tailored business support to enter the Indian market.
Battery energy storage systems will play a critical role in India’s green economic growth, bridging the gap between abundant solar generation in the middle of the day with rapidly growing evening demand for air conditioning.
LiNa’s solid-state sodium batteries are uniquely suited for the Indian market as they do not require liquid cooling or refrigeration systems typically needed for lithium-ion systems in high temperature conditions – reducing cost and increasing round-trip-efficiency. In addition, LiNa’s batteries do not contain the conventional critical materials used for battery manufacturing – no lithium, cobalt, manganese, or graphite – enabling full-integrated domestic manufacturing and supply chains in India.
With viable technology to offer the market, LiNA Energy sought support from Energy Systems Catapult to prepare their offer for the Indian market and to connect to on the ground partners and stakeholders.
LiNa Energy is commercialising a solid-state sodium battery which unlocks breakthrough performance and unmatched safety at a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion for stationary storage, enabling renewable energy fortification and supporting electrification of transport.
Use of a lithium and cobalt free chemistry enables the creation of next-generation local and transparent battery supply chains and significantly lower embedded carbon.
The sodium-metal-chloride battery is built around proven technology based on 1980s sodium chemistry, with modern materials science and advancements in fuel cell ceramics. As well as improving standards in safety, performance and sustainability, it commercialises faster by reducing lab development time and lowering the cost of deployment. Materials are abundant and the batteries are ideal for mass manufacture.
The Catapult combined its unique expertise in developing smart energy business models and strong overseas networks to create a soft landing for LiNa Energy and the rest of the cohort in India.
Working with Social Alpha’s Clean Energy Innovation Incubation Centre (CEIIC), the business received support to prepare themselves for the Indian market – including pitch deck preparation and value proposition refinement, outlining how they fit into the Indian energy system.
They had the opportunity to pitch to local organisations in order to perform market validation, find local partners and agents, and generate sales opportunities.
India is a huge and growing market for clean energy solutions. The UK and India are collaborating in a number of areas, including clean energy.
Will Tope, Commercial Director, LiNA Energy
“India is a huge growth market for energy storage and well suited for LiNa Energy’s breakthrough solid-state sodium batteries which can be manufactured locally and operate safely in high temperatures. The Catapult Energy System innovator challenge in partnership with Social Alpha is a fantastic opportunity for LiNa Energy to work with Indian partners to accelerate their profitable growth towards a green economy.”
As a direct result of the project, LiNA Energy signed a MoU with Social Alpha to accelerate development of its sodium batteries for the Indian market.
The partnership brings LiNA Energy into the ‘Clean Energy International Incubation Center (or CEIIC)’ a joint initiative of Government of India (GoI) and Tata Trusts, supported by Department of Biotechnology, BIRAC, Tata Power and Tata Power – DDL.
As part of the collaboration, LiNa will establish a presence in India to optimise its product development for the India market and oversee battery cell testing and future pilot projects.
India is a huge and growing market for clean energy solutions. The UK and India are collaborating in a number of areas, including clean energy, and momentum will only grow in this space following India’s announcement of a Net Zero target at COP26.
LiNa Energy are one of the 19 SMEs recently onboarded as part of cohort one into the Innovating for Transport and Energy Systems (ITES) initiative. The 19 SMEs will have access to a range of acceleration support – from start-up mentoring and incubation services, to market research and real-world pilots with Indian businesses that help prove new products on the ground. The programme will also help innovative businesses tackle scalability with bespoke go-to-market support and access to potential clients, funders, and investment.
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