A new report, Charging Ahead – Australia’s Battery Powered Future, has forecasted $16.9 billion per annum in value-add for Australia’s battery industry. This forecast highlighted the potential for 61,400 local jobs by 2030, alongside recommendations to harness the significant opportunities ahead. 

The report, released by the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) and authored by Accenture, highlighted how increased adoption of electric vehicles was a key driver behind the forecast growth. The increased need for batteries in stationary storage was also contributing to global battery demand.

The report analysed global influences on the potential growth of Australia as a major supplier of battery minerals, the growth of Australia’s battery industry, across the supply chain and commercialisation spectrum. 

The report also explores:

  • Diversified battery industries and its contribution to the Australian economy
  • Australia’s need to expedite more targeted and comprehensive policies to compete with global demand
  • Leveraging Australia’s comparative advantages of mineral diversity, supply chain reliability and high ESG standards to compete internationally
  • How a call for fast and comprehensive action from government is needed 

The report builds on important findings released in FBICRC’s groundbreaking 2021 Future Charge Report, which found that $7.4 billion of value and over 34,000 jobs could be created by the battery industry. The increase in clean energy expenditure over the last 18 months has seen these figures double. 

According to the FBICRC, decisive action from Australian industry, government and research institutions, through the National Battery Strategy, will be essential to capture this much larger opportunity in the context of greater international competition.

The report recommends six strategies to compete in the growing market:

  • Alliances
    • Foreign nation support to grow our industries
  •  Attraction
    • Attract large anchor tenants to help build an Australian ecosystem. (e.g. BASF, POSCO, etc)
  • Coordination
    • A comprehensive, coordinated, national approach
      • National Battery Strategy, Critical Minerals Strategy; Powering Australia Growth Centre; NRF and other support, policies to encourage minerals are upgraded in Australia
  • Regional export partnerships
    • Sell cells and materials into attractive regional markets (e.g. US, Asia, India, Indonesia)
  • Increasing Domestic Demand
    • Aggregate demand – Australian made batteries used in Australia
  • Specialist Institutes
    • Bring industry and academia together to build homegrown industries through common use (prototyping) facilities

FBICRC CEO, Shannon O’Rourke, said: “In light of recent geopolitical developments, our report has shown Australian policymakers should explore more aggressive industry policies, target markets that are looking to diversify their supply chains, and partner with geopolitical allies to enable and enhance the potential growth of Australia’s battery industry.

“FBICRC stands ready to provide our research expertise and analysis to support Governments across Australia leverage our battery industry’s competitive advantage and make the most of the recent and significant global economic, industrial and political shifts.”

The report was produced with the support of the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund and the $1 billion value add-in resources sub-fund. The recommendations from the report could result in Australia’s battery industry becoming a global leader.

Read the report here.

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