Italian energy storage company Energy said on May 18 it had set up a joint venture with a unit of China's Pylon Technologies focused on the production and sale of lithium batteries for European households and businesses.

Global demand for lithium, a key element for batteries, is expected to increase by up to 89-fold by 2050.

As the European Union races to become a leading producer of clean technologies, the bloc has set 2030 targets for the minerals required for its green transition, including lithium.

The joint venture with Pylon Technologies, a provider of lithium battery energy storage systems, was first announced in February and will be headquartered at Energy's site in Sant'Angelo di Piove di Sacco, northern Italy.

Under the partnership, where Energy holds a 30% stake, cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries will be manufactured at its facilities starting from this autumn, with an initial overall investment of 10 million euros by the two partners.

The batteries at the site, which is set to become a gigafactory at a later stage, will be used to store energy produced from renewable sources, in particular photovoltaic panels, Energy said in a statement.

The initial site is expected to reach a production capacity of 600-800 pieces per day - equal to 3-4 megawatt hours (MWh) of storage capacity - for households and industry.