DOE Must Explain Why it Gave Battery Technology to China

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) is writing a letter to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, asking her to comment on how the DOE allows China to usurp the revolutionary battery technology created in the United States. reply

“This development is very concerning, and it is your department’s responsibility to provide Congress and the public with answers to important questions,” Bard said in a letter obtained exclusively by Breitbart News before being sent Wednesday.

Bud is referring to By NPR on August 9, 2022 It “details how the U.S. Department of Energy falsely permitted the transfer of advanced, cutting-edge battery technology developed in a federally funded laboratory to a Chinese company.”

Budd details how Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers began working on a vanadium redox flow battery in 2006 — a battery that was envisioned to have a lot of storage capacity and a prototype capable of powering an entire house. After six years and $15 million in taxpayer research, a company called UniEnergy Technologies was formed in 2012 to license DOE’s battery patents and commercialize the technology.

But after a while, the company “began to forge closer and closer ties with Chinese entities” and eventually sublicensed patents owned by the U.S. Department of Energy to the Chinese company, Rongke Power. While U.S. law requires licensees of DOE patents to “manufacture and primarily sell products in the U.S.,” Budd wrote, UniEnergy and Rongke Power primarily sell Chinese-assembled batteries in China.

“The Department of Energy’s license monitoring equipment has failed for years to identify and investigate non-compliant sublicenses granted to Rongke Power,” Budd said.

“Later in 2021, UniEnergy contacted the U.S. Department of Energy to completely waive the vanadium redox flow battery license and requested that it be transferred to Netherlands-based Vanadis Power,” he continued. “Although the company does not mass-produce batteries in the U.S. for sale in the U.S. market—Vanadis’ website makes it clear that they plan to manufacture batteries in China—DOE officials apparently quickly approved the transfer.”

Budd highlighted that China recently connected the world’s largest battery farm to its grid – all the batteries in the 800MWh facility are Vanadis Power and Rongke Power vanadium redox flow batteries.

“So it is clear that this battery farm would not exist without U.S. taxpayer-funded research. It is unacceptable that DOE-funded research facilitates this strategic feat in China before the U.S. can build anything comparable. ,” Budd wrote.

Budd asked Granholm to answer several questions by October 15, 2022, including:

What is the DOE’s process for monitoring licensees’ compliance with U.S. laws and departmental regulations?

Are there special concerns for licensees who have close business relationships with Chinese entities?

How has DOE investigated its own oversight lapses and what steps has it taken to implement changes?

Is DOE aware of other research conducted at national laboratories being licensed or sublicensed to Chinese entities, and if so, how to prevent these technology transfers?

What can DOE do to hold licensees accountable for violating license terms?

“Mistakes like allowing cutting-edge U.S.-developed battery technology to happen in China instead of the U.S. cannot continue to happen. I expect your department to take concrete steps to prevent any further technology transfer to foreign adversaries,” he concluded.

China has a history of ending U.S. technology – CBS 2021 coverage estimated The Chinese Communist Party has stolen $200 billion to $600 billion in U.S. intellectual property annually for at least 20 years.

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