BIU to Establish National Energy Research Institute
Ministry of Energy selects Bar-Ilan and the Technion to launch institute to develop groundbreaking technologies for the storage and conservation of energy
Bar-Ilan University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have won a call published by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to establish a national research institute in the field of energy storage. The aim of the institute is to encourage Israel's energy sector to take a leap forward in response to the national strategic changes, with an eye toward global applications, as well as to train cadres of future experts in the field and facilitate the transfer of innovative technologies from the academic environment to industry.
Prof. Doron Aurbach from Bar-Ilan’s Department of Chemistry and Prof. Yoed Tsur from the Technion will head the institute. The scientific steering team will be headed by Ministry of Energy Chief Scientist Dr. Gideon Friedman and will include Prof. Yair Ein-Eli from the Technion, Prof. Malachi Noked and Prof. Lior Elbaz, from Bar-Ilan's Department of Chemistry and Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA).
The institute will be established with a budget of NIS 130 million for five years, of which the Ministry of Energy will invest NIS 100 million and the winning institutions have pledged to invest the remaining NIS 30 million. The Ministry's investment will enable the purchase of expensive research infrastructure and the establishment of new laboratories.
With conventional technologies, growing energy consumption causes greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The goal set by the State of Israel for 2050 is a national energy economy free of greenhouse gas emissions. The way to reach this goal is through a transition to renewable energy sources, such as the sun and wind. Energy production from these sources isn’t steady, but fluctuates through the day. Therefore, development of novel technologies for storing energy in large quantities is required. This will be one of the main tasks of the new institute.
The institute will engage in research in the following areas: sodium-ion batteries, fuel cell performance improvement, producing and storing green hydrogen, and more.
Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Arie Zaban, an expert in renewable energy, said that the climate crisis afflicting the earth is no longer a matter of research and professional articles, but a matter affecting our daily lives. "The transition to the use of renewable energy with significant storage capacity is a key component in dealing with the climate crisis. At the same time, it will bring the State of Israel energy independence and security. I am grateful to the Ministry of Energy for its significant trust in the research teams and for this special cooperation between the Technion and Bar-Ilan University."
Prof. Aurbach added: "The national energy institute will be a four-dimensional interface: academia, industry, entrepreneurship, and government. It will allow Israel to establish an infrastructure to create green electricity without a carbon signature. The goal is to make Israel a global pioneer in dealing with the climate crisis, which is an energy crisis."