The Energy Department is making a push to strengthen the U.S. battery supply chain, announcing up to $3.5 billion for companies that produce batteries and the critical minerals that go into them.

Batteries are seen as an important climate solution because they can power cars, which are a major cause of climate change when they burn gasoline. They are also a solution when they store clean electricity made from solar panels or wind turbines, allowing gas or coal power plants that cause climate change to turn off.

Lithium ion is currently the dominant battery type both for electric vehicles and clean electricity storage. The DOE wants to strengthen the supply because even though there is plenty of work underway to develop alternatives, it estimates demand for lithium batteries will increase up to ten times by 2030.

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