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50 Global Leaders for energy storage and e-mobility

ETN commemorates the World Energy Storage Day (September 22) with a special section dedicated to the visionaries and promoters of energy storage globally. Following are brief profiles of the selected leaders, whose contributions and initiatives have been defining the progress of the sector.  

AKIRA YOSHINO, President Lithium-ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center

Lithium-ion batteries have made today's mobile IT society a reality. And in the future, they will play a central role in building a sustainable society.


The focus should be on solar-plus-storage technology because affordable storage technologies are the key to bringing solar energy to scale, not only in India but to the world.

ARUMUGAM MANTHIRAM, Scientist & Professor, University of Texas

Cobalt is the least abundant and most expensive component in battery cathodes. And we are eliminating it.

BABU CHALAMALA, Head - Energy Storage Technology and Systems Department, Sandia National Laboratories

We are amid a major transformation in the electricity industry with a central role for energy storage in grid modernization, renewable integration, and electrification. This is an exciting time to be in energy storage.

Bill Gates, Founder, Breakthrough Energy Ventures

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

BILL GROSS, Chair & CEO - Idealab Studio

Reading the climate science literature, it's clear we have reached the limits of the chemical power paradigm. Now, it is time to transition to a paradigm that uses the power of physics.

CARLA PETERMAN, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Our grid can accommodate more clean power than we originally thought and with smart, strategic investment in the grid we can reach 50-60 percent renewables. Clean energy technologies can do much more than we thought, especially when coupled with each other.

CHETAN MAINI, Co-founder, and Vice Chairman - SUN Mobility

At the end of the day, the consumer is looking to reach his destination in half the time, in a safer manner; at half the cost, in a cleaner manner.

CHRIS SHELTON, Chief Technology Officer-AES

To solve the final energy GHG issue we need synthetic fuels made from hydrogen (+ nitrogen or captured carbon) - made from lots and lots of solar and wind. With a clear price on carbon, it can happen

DALE HILL, Founder – Proterra

Never stop asking why, and never stop trying to come up with solutions

DARYL WILSON, Executive Director - Hydrogen Council

In 2020, a long list of countries and regions announced new hydrogen strategies and committed to concrete targets and financing support for hydrogen as part of their sustainable recovery plans. In 2021, Council members will work to channel this momentum into bold action.

DONALD SADOWAY, Professor of Materials Chemistry - MIT

For me, it's all about giving people technology that enhances the quality of life and does so at a competitive price point. I've been very, very strict with my team about not inventing something that's super expensive that's going to get you into the journal, but it's never going to get you into the customer's hands.

ELON MUSK, CEO -Tesla, Inc. 

I'm interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous, new technology where you see it, and you're like, 'Wow, how did that even happen? How is that possible?

GAUTAM CHATTERJEE, Whole-time Advisor – Exide Industries

We hope this initiative (CESC-Exide 315kWh BESS) will be a foundation for more such exciting collaborations and we are bullish on the economics of lead-acid storage solutions for utility-scale use cases


With the fight against climate change, and the energy transition, the role of ESS becomes even more important. Renewable energy is intermittent by its very nature, so you need storage solutions to ensure a stable and flexible power supply.


The energy industry is the largest industry on the planet. And hydrogen is only beginning to scratch the surface. We haven't even started.


Responding to climate change is a universal issue for all of humanity that requires the cooperation of the global economic world that cannot be put off any longer

HORACE LUKE, Chairman & CEO - Gogoro

If we are going to transform ourselves from traditional modes of transportation to this new era of transportation, I think new opportunities will surface and innovators are going to grab onto it and create new business models.

Dr. IMRE GYUK, Director of Energy Storage U.S. Department of Energy

Long-duration energy storage is essential to help accelerate renewables deployment.

JAMES GREENBERGER, Executive Director & Founder, NAATBatt

Advanced battery technology is the key enabler of the electricity-powered technologies that will shape human society in the 21st Century.

JAMES L ROBO, Chairman & CEO - NextEra Energy

Battery storage is the holy grail of the renewables business. If we can deliver firm power to renewable customers at a cost-effective rate, you'll see renewables explode even faster than they already are.

JANICE LIN, Founder and CEO-Strategen Consulting

We're going to get there. There are multiple pathways forward, of different storage solutions that can assist everything from short, duration, longer durations, and long bulk duration storage with green hydrogen, pumped hydro, compressed air, and so on.

PROF JEFF DAHN, Head of Jeff Dahn Research Group, Dalhousie University

We have three major goals: reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries, help improve the lifetime and improve the energy density. Everything we do addresses those three goals.

Jeffrey B Straubel, Founder & CEO - Redwood Materials

We need to appreciate that we need to build a Gigafactory in reverse. I'm looking into the future and seeing this freight train coming at us.

JOHN GOODENOUGH, Professor, University of Texas

You put the technology out there, and it could be used for ill or for good. And if they use it for good, I'm very happy…Technology is morally neutral.

JOHN JUNG, Founder - GridFunction

Energy storage and software would be increasingly pervasive, but ultimately invisible, working in the background to integrate grid assets into networks to lower the cost and reliability of distributed electricity.

KELLY SPEAKES-BACKMAN, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary - U.S. DOE

By bringing emerging technologies out of the laboratory and onto the factory floor, DOE's Industrial Technology Validation program moves us one step closer to commercializing the innovations that will make our clean energy future possible.


The stakes are incredibly high to transform the way we power our world, adding more renewables together with energy storage to provide clean generation, flexibility, and resilience to power networks everywhere.

MARIA SKYLLAS–KAZACOS, Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales

It's turning out nice for Vanadium flow battery systems. Commercialization has often been hamstrung by the high cost of Vanadium extraction.

MATEO JARAMILLO, CEO & Co-Founder - Form Energy Inc.

If we want to truly reach a clean energy future, we must have solutions in place to store low-cost but intermittent renewable energy over multiple days.

MIKE GRAVELY, Research Program Manager - California Energy Commission

Several emerging storage technologies are worth looking at that could eventually be alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. We believe they'll be able to provide a better, more affordable, and safer product, but we have to first prove that.

PASQUALE ROMANO, President & CEO - ChargePoint Inc

The future of fleets is electric, and integrating charging solutions with the many business systems already in place in today's depots, is essential to successful electrification.

PATRICK CLERENS, Secretary-General - EASE

The excellent 2021 storage outlook is a testament to the importance of a supportive policy and market framework for storage: the implementation of the Clean Energy Package is opening up new markets around Europe and improving the business case for storage.

RACHID YAZAMI, Founding Director & CTO - KVI Holdings, Research Director at CNRS

This (technology) will be crucial for the future of electric vehicles. The new charging technique will help make electric cars not only cheaper to use in the long term but also just as convenient as gas-powered vehicles.

RAHUL WALAWALKAR, President & MD, Customized Energy Solutions India

Through the right policy support, large-scale solar parks with 100 MW and above could easily integrate energy storage to help improve the power quality and reliability issues that the grid can face with the rapid integration of solar energy.

RAKESH MALHOTRA, Founder - LivGuard Energy Technologies

Today, no renewable system is complete without adding storage and power conversions to it, that's the space where the maximum opportunity lies because that's under-served.

RANDALL MACEWEN, President & CEO - Ballard Power Systems

When you make cheese you lose a lot of milk, but there's a cheese market; it's the same with hydrogen, there is a market today and there will be a much larger market in the future.

ROBERT L. GALYEN, President - Galyen Energy

The global battery industry is experiencing tremendous growth, and I believe Tydrolyte has a unique opportunity to play a critical role in the global race to develop and commercialize new technologies that deliver less expensive and longer-lasting lead-acid batteries.

STANLEY WHITTINGHAM, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Binghamton University, New York

Raise the profile of energy storage, raise the profile of how we can have a cleaner environment and affect climate change in a positive manner

TAKESHI UCHIYAMADA, Chairman - Toyota Motor Corporation

Hydrogen can create significant benefits for the energy system, the environment, and the global economy. Large-scale investment in the massive deployment of hydrogen technologies will build a bridge to the future – a sustainable society.

 THOMAS SCHMALL, CEO, Volkswagen Group Components

We are preparing ourselves for the approaching new era of mobility. Investments for the new electric components must be borne by our present core business.

URBAN WINDELEN, Executive Director, BVES

The decarbonization of the energy industry can only be successful if there is close cooperation between the technologies.


You have to be able to take that lab innovation; you've got to be able to manufacture them; you've got to get them in the hands of, say, a car company that's going to test them and ultimately qualify them and then integrates them into the vehicle.

VIJAYANAND SAMUDRALA, President - New Energy, Amara Raja Batteries

"India is at a crucial time and space in the transformative journey to e-mobility eco-system. Establishing domestic manufacturing capability in the EV battery value chain is a critical and essential enabler towards accelerated adoption of Electric Vehicle mobility in the country."

VINOD KHOSLA, Founder - Khosla Ventures

We're in a crisis, and there is an opportunity to reinvent our energy infrastructure; it would be a folly to waste it.

WANG CHUANFU, Chairman and CEO - BYD

New phenomena never develop at similar rates, and the industry is changing at a pace even faster than imagined. I expect new EV sales to account for 70 percent of the Chinese market by 2030.


Electric vehicles still account for a very low share of the entire auto market and there is huge room for growth worldwide.

WILLIAM P. ACKER, Executive Director - NY-BEST

NY-BEST's mission is to catalyze and grow the energy storage industry and establish New York State as a global leader.

YET-MING CHIANG, Professor - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The ability to store energy makes our electricity more dispatchable and more reliable over longer periods of time

ZENG YUQUN, Founder & Chairman, CATL

You have to be more innovative, more cost-efficient, with better performance. That's the only way to beat them (gasoline-run vehicles).

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