Manufacturing News

New report: Australia’s $7.4bn opportunity in future battery industries

Diversified battery industries could contribute $7.4 billion annually to Australia’s economy and support 34,700 jobs by 2030, according to a new report prepared for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) by Accenture.

The Future Charge: Building Australia’s Battery Industries report is a comprehensive assessment of Australia’s economic opportunity to leverage its competitive advantages as a major supplier of battery minerals and expand its role within a growing global industry.

Stedman Ellis, CEO of the Future Battery Industries CRC said Australia is on the cusp of reproducing the present generation of battery chemistries from locally sourced materials.

“This is a landmark report that drills home the scale and speed of a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Australia,” he said.

“We are already seeing significant investment downstream where value adding opportunities exist. It also has a rapidly maturing domestic market for energy storage systems on grid and off grid.”

Demand for batteries has grown steadily, but is now forecast to accelerate, increasing nine- to 10-fold over the next decade, with sales expected to reach US$133-151 billion by 2030.

“The potential for Australia to augment its existing role within a growing global industry is already well understood,” Ellis said.

“This report provides a compelling business case for Australia to develop into a competitive player in the international batteries industry, and Australia has many strengths for succeeding in this ambition.

As well as quantifying the value adding opportunities available to Australia, the report proposes a set of actions that are required from government and industry to capture the battery opportunity.

Accenture strategy principal and director, Toby Brennan, said battery technology has come a long way in the last ten years, and will play a critical role in Australia’s energy future as countries reduce their reliance on carbon fuels and transform their electricity supplies.

“Our current battery industries contribute an estimated $1.3 billion to our GDP and 6,000 jobs, almost all of which comes from mining raw materials,” he said.

“That will grow substantially over the next decade as demand for our battery minerals grows – but almost twice the economic gains can be achieved if Australia invests in diversifying its battery industries.”

Batteries are manufactured through a complex value chain from mining and then refining of raw materials, through manufacturing of cells then battery packs, and finally integration and end-of-life.

The report identifies six opportunities for Australia to expand its presence across the battery value chain:

  • continue to invest and expand refining capacity of locally mined materials
  • establish active materials manufacturing capability to serve the global value chain
  • establish battery pack manufacturing & assembly capability focusing on specialised use cases
  • establish cell manufacturing capability to complement battery pack manufacturing and assembly activities
  • leverage domestic capability in integration and maintenance to export services to the region
  • create a circular economy for battery material.

By examining the initiatives undertaken by peer countries and assessing the status of important enablers, the report identifies the level of investment required to unlock the battery opportunity and the sources of capital that could be tapped, such as government bodies and programs, lending institutions and institutional investors.

The report also lays out a strategy to create a comprehensive and unified battery industries development policy. These include 11 recommendations for the federal government to support the successful development of thriving batteries industries.

It recommends framing the policy around four core objectives:

  • financially viable businesses throughout the value chain have access to capital from a variety of sources
  • Australia has battery industry expertise to support diversified growth
  • Australian-made batteries and battery inputs are in demand, both nationally and globally
  • The battery industries, research organisations and education institutions collaborate to drive growth

You can access a copy of Australia’s Future Battery Industries report here.

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