Study provides foundation for new battery industries in Australia

  • Share this article

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

Stedman Ellis, FBICRC CEO 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.”

“It also provides an important foundation for the wider policy framework for Australia’s investment in some of the identified priority areas which can turbo charge 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 Future Battery Industry Cooperative Research Centre (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 Australia’s national science agency, 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 tonnes10 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.

 The report is available here.

 Quotes attributed to Dr Larry Marshall, CSIRO Chief Executive

“Science can transform our raw materials from commodities into unique, higher-value products, and keep more of that value here at home, like turning minerals into the next-generation batteries we need to underpin our energy transition,” Dr Marshall said.

“Our portfolio of national missions is focusing on leveraging Team Australia’s great science to grow Australia’s high-value exports for new markets, local jobs, and sovereign supply, so it’s great to work with the FBICRC on our shared goal to sustainably grow the battery storage sector.”

Key findings from the report:

  • Australia is on the cusp of developing significant capability and capacity to move further along the battery value chain based on a world class minerals resource and strong technical competence.
  • In the short term, lithium suppliers are under considerable financial pressure with some risks to the required investment to capture market opportunities.
  • The real value add is in moving to cathode and anode materials – chemistries could be reproduced in Australia using local sourced materials and expertise.
  • Niche markets exist further down the value chain in cell manufacture, assembly and power management systems.
  • Recycling is relatively primitive and valuable battery minerals are not retained in the Australian battery supply chain.
  • Policy settings for the growth of battery industries in Australia are not as integrated or strategic as those in other countries.
  • If we get this right, battery industries will be a large economic opportunity for Australia attracting investment and creating jobs.

 

Media Contact
Jenny Shewan​

Communications Manager
P: +61 8 9266 4272
M: +61 429 348614
E: jenny.shewan@fbicrc.com.au

Thanks for reading

  • Share this article