LiNa signs MoU with Social Alpha to accelerate development of its sodium batteries for Indian Market

Smita Rakesh, Partner and VP at Social Alpha said, “New-age innovative battery chemistries, that can address the challenge of low levelized cost of power while ensuring sustainable sourcing of raw materials as well as environmentally benign disposal after use, are a high priority in our clean energy thesis, given energy storage is currently the biggest bottleneck in the scaling-up of renewable technologies. We are very keen to explore the role solid-state sodium batteries can play in enabling clean energy transition and are excited to be contributing to LiNa Energy’s journey of catalysing this change in India.”

LiNa Energy, New Delhi, 28th Sep 2022… UK based LiNa Energy Ltd. has announced a new partnership with India-based Social Alpha, an innovation curation and venture development platform. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aims to accelerate the development of LiNa’s lithium and cobalt-free batteries through Social Alpha’s Energy Lab called the ‘Clean Energy International Incubation Center (or CEIIC)’ a joint initiative of Government of India (GoI) and Tata Trusts, and supported by Department of Biotechnology, BIRAC, Tata Power and Tata Power – DDL.

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. Solar generation is expected to grow significantly from ~60GW in 2022 to over 800 GW by 2040 which will decarbonize India’s power generation mix. But this energy needs to be stored to meet the rapidly growing demands of India’s growing use of residential air conditioning (expected to increase by 600%) which occurs after dark when solar generation is unavailable.

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.

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.

Will Tope, LiNa’s CCO, said of the MOU: “We are incredibly excited to be working with Social Alpha to validate our solid-state sodium technology’s suitability for the Indian market. India’s green economic growth makes it a world-leading market for advanced chemistry battery cells and our MOU with Social Alpha establishes LiNa’s commitment to this market.”

LiNa began work on its novel battery technology as a spin-out of Lancaster University in 2017 and has since gone on to independently validate its technology at kilowatt-hour system scale including government lead projects with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK, and the Department for Transport. Most recently, LiNa Energy was one of the winners of a challenge run by UK based Energy Systems Catapult in partnership with Social Alpha’s CEIIC, seeking SME’s with innovations in Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Space who are looking to enter the Indian market.

CEIIC provides customised technology and business incubation support to mission driven clean tech startups in their lab-to-market journey. Recognised by GoI as an international incubator under the aegis of Mission Innovation, a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Commission catalysing clean energy innovation, CEIIC serves as a soft landing platform for international startups with solutions relevant for India’s energy needs.