Study provides foundation for new battery industries in Australia

Thursday, 29 October, 2020

Study provides foundation for new battery industries in Australia

A new CSIRO report indicates that Australia has the potential to capitalise on the value-add from moving further along the battery value chain.

Stedman Ellis, CEO of the Future Battery Industry Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC), said the landmark study assessed the widely recognised once-in-a-generation opportunity for Australia to create new battery industries.

“The report provides a snapshot of Australia’s battery industries at the start of our six-year journey as a CRC, and forms an important benchmark for the impact of its investment in research, development and education,” he said. “It also provides an important foundation for the wider policy framework for Australia’s investment in some of the identified priority areas which can turbocharge job creation: resources technology and critical minerals processing, recycling and clean energy, and defence.

The report, State of Play: Australia’s Battery Industries, commissioned by the FBICRC, indicates this move along the value chain will bring significant social, environmental and economic benefits, placing Australia as a trusted supplier and an exporter of value-added products, rather than just raw materials.

This report by Dr Adam Best and Dr Chris Vernon from CSIRO, identifies Australia is on the cusp of developing significant capability and capacity to move further along the battery value chain, based on world-class mineral resources and strong technical competence.

Future predicted increased demand for lithium for EV batteries alone is staggering, with a predicted doubling from approximately 12,500 tonnes in 2018, to 25,000 tonnes in 2020, to 150,000 tonnes in 2025, to 425,000 tonnes in 2030 with a linear increase of an additional 100,000 tonnes per year, every year until 2050.

This growth will, of course, be compounded by additional growth in the demand for batteries associated with consumer goods and for household and utility grid storage. This global growth provides substantial opportunity to leverage Australia’s world-class minerals endowment downstream and become better integrated in the clean energy and battery storage space.

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