Shining a light on global battery value chains

08 Jul 2020
Shining a light on global battery value chains
Launching the flagship research publication of the new Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBI-CRC), the Perth USAsia Centre convened in partnership with the FBI-CRC an online public forum on the governance of global battery value chains.
 
Batteries are foundational for many of the current and future technologies that will define the economies of the 21st century. However, global battery value chains are neither economically secure, nor socially sustainable. Therefore, the focus of the landmark report, and its online discussion launch, was to ascertain what governance challenges face this critical technology industry, as well as address how governments and businesses can collaborate to develop more resilient battery value chains.



Dr Wilson's presentation is available here.
A summary of Dr Kyungjin Song’s presentation on developments in the Korean battery technology industry is available here.

Perth USAsia Centre Research Director Dr Jeffrey Wilson co-authored the landmark report, accessible here. The report articulates:
  • The battery industry offers significant economic opportunities for Australia. Global demand for batteries is rising rapidly, due to technological transformations in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. Australian governments and businesses have identified building the battery sector as a major national economic imperative.
  •  Australia’s value proposition is as a secure and sustainable partner. Existing battery value chains face significant governance challenges which threaten both their security and sustainability. Australia’s geological endowments, trusted governance framework and strong international relationships make it an ideal partner for international efforts to develop more resilient battery value chains.
  •  Australia will need to upgrade its role within existing global battery value chains. It is already a major up-stream supplier of battery minerals, and end-user of grid-scale batteries. However, it has yet to develop capacity in mid- and down-stream stages of the value chain. As the bulk of value-adding occurs in these stages, Australia’s economic opportunity lies in leveraging its competitive advantages to ‘move along the value chain’ from a mining to processing role.
  •  To successfully execute this agenda, efforts will need to be informed by an integrated value-chain perspective. Australia is not creating a battery industry de novo, but seeking to augment its existing role within a growing global industry. Policy design by governments, and project development by businesses, must be calibrated to the specific governance features and needs of global battery value chains.
  •  A value-chain informed strategy should focus on building mid-stream capacity through international partnerships. Domestically, efforts should target Australia’s mid-stream processing industries, where the most attractive opportunities lie. Internationally, governments and businesses should actively pursue international trade, investment and technology partnerships with key global players. 
The FBI-CRC is led by CEO Stedman Ellis, who along with senior Korean government and industry leader Dr Kyungjin Song joined Dr Wilson and Perth USAsia Centre CEO Gordon Flake for the discussion.

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Further information on the vital work of the FBI-CRIC is accessible here, as is Dr Wilson’s most recent Perth USAsia Centre report on the vital inputs for batteries, critical materials.

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