I write to request information with regard to UniEnergy Technologies’ transfer of its U.S. government license to produce vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) technology to foreign entities doe newswire. This VRFB technology, designed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the express purpose of advancing U.S. national interests and fostering a manufacturing boom in our country, is estimated to have cost U.S. taxpayers more than $15 million. Instead of advancing our strategic interests, it appears that DOE has allowed this critical technology to be given to foreign entities, including some based in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
As you know, research on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s VRFB began in 2006. In 2012, the project's lead scientist, Gary Yang, applied for a license to manufacture and sell the design. The license was granted, leading to the formation of UniEnergy Technologies, which branded the battery ReFlex.
In 2017, UniEnergy Technologies granted Chinese firm Dalian Rongke Power Company an official sublicense to manufacture the VRFBs in the PRC. Dalian Rongke Power Company has received significant backing from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)—an entity whose parent institution is the PRC’s State Council. CAS played an important role in the PRC’s early scientific advances, particularly in Beijing’s strategic weapons program, and still plays a critical role in support of the defense industry, notably in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) high technology aspirations.