What Does Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Mean for Flow Batteries?

If you’ve been reading the news over the past few months, you’ve heard of President Biden’s proposed multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill and the partisan debate surrounding it. Some of the most talked about projects included in the bill are nationwide road improvements, broadband internet, and job creation. But what you probably haven’t heard are the bill’s proposed investments into R&D, including utility-scale energy storage solutions.


According to the bill’s fact sheet on the White House website, it proposes investing $35 billion into a full range of solutions to address climate change and position America as a global leader in clean energy. As part of that $35 billion investment, $15 billion would be dedicated to projects like utility-scale energy storage, hydrogen, carbon capture, and other clean energy initiatives. While the bill does not specifically mention flow battery technology, flow batteries will almost certainly make a big impact if the proposed bill passes.


What does that mean for the flow battery patent space? If the bill passes, we are likely to see a massive increase in R&D efforts by government-owned labs and the number of patents held by the United States. The United States holds 56 patent assets related to flow batteries, dating back to 1978, as well as Battelle Memorial Institute’s 28 patent assets. Battelle is a private nonprofit organization that operates PNNL, a U.S. Department of Energy lab, so many of Battelle’s patents have since been assigned to the United States. Patent Forecast® previously discussed Battelle’s recent use of fluorenone, an organic compound used in candles, as a flow battery electrolyte in an application assigned to the United States. 


While the United States is well-represented in the Patent Radian® , it still lags behind major Asian companies like the Japanese company Sumitomo, with 162 patent assets. An important goal of the infrastructure bill is to transform the United States into a clean energy powerhouse and global leader, so investment into the flow battery space is key to achieving that goal. 

Keep up with the United States’ investment in flow batteries and other trends using the Energy Storage: Flow Battery Patent Forecast®.