El Reg has screwed up
The Register is normally good at covering tech stories, but they have screwed up royally here.
As others have alluded to, this invention is about diodes, not batteries. It lowers the power consumption of any electronic device that uses diodes, and hence lengthens battery life if that device is baterry-powered.
Look at the press release:
El Reg missed an important part of the quote therein:
"Semiconductor diodes and amplifiers, which often are made of silicon or germanium, are key elements in modern electronic devices"