Recognition by the Chinese Central Government that battery technology is the key technology in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy has been welcomed by Sparton Resources. The Canada-based company is a leading developer of this technology in China.
On September 22, 2017 the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Commission (NEC), jointly released Document 1701, 'Guidance on the Promotion of Energy Storage Technology and Industry Development'.
In this comprehensive and far reaching document, various private, State and Federal institutions, and energy generating utilities in China, are encouraged to support, further develop, and make expanded use of various forms of evolving energy storage technologies.
The NDRC and NEC, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and other relevant departments, have been mandated to coordinate, establish and improve measures to effectively promote energy storage initiatives.
China is the world leader in renewable energy power generation. The need for supporting energy storage programs, using various technologies, has been long recognised as part of China's long-term planning. Document 1701 affirms that the storage industry is of strategic significance for building a modern, clean, low carbon, safe and efficient energy industry.
The advanced development and use of vanadium redox flow (VRB) batteries in the 100 megawatt size capacity are specifically mentioned in the following paragraph:
“3. Apply and promote a number of energy storage technologies and products with independent intellectual property rights - We should strengthen guidance and support to promote the combination of production, research and application, and to accelerate the transformation of technologies. The energy-storage product manufacturers shall be encouraged to improve quality and efficiency by adopting advanced manufacturing technology and ideas; to reduce costs by bringing forth innovative investment and financing models; and to stimulate domestic equipment manufacturing by participating in foreign application markets. The focus includes 100MW-grade, vanadium redox flow battery energy storage stations; high-performance, lead-carbon capacitor battery energy storage system; and the like.”
Through its 89.8% owned subsidiary company VanSpar Mining Inc, Sparton holds a minority interest in PuNeng Energy (PN), a leading manufacturer of VRB with a China-based factory and international sales program. The NDRC and related China department directives will clearly stimulate new large VRB sales domestically and internationally, and enhance the value of this key company investment holding.
Sparton is actively seeking investment partners for the development of high-grade stone coal vanadium deposits that it has identified in China.
Sparton’s president Lee Barker said from Beijing: “The recognition of the importance of battery technology to the renewable energy industry by the leadership of the Chinese Government, and its detailed commitment to research, development and support at all levels of government and industry, confirms that China intends to retain a leadership position in the areas of clean energy generation and the critical role of battery technology development.
“The need for new production of high purity V products for large scale unit VRB manufacturing is now very clear, and supports the company efforts to develop sources for these critical materials.”