The nation has an opportunity for real industry growth, shaped by changing international relationships and driven by technological improvements in batteries and increasing demand for energy storage
Diversified battery industries could contribute $7.4bn annually to the Australian economy and support 34,700 jobs by 2030, says a report.
The analysis, which was prepared for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) by Accenture, provides 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.
As well as quantifying the value-adding opportunities available to Australia, the report proposes a set of actions that are required from the government and industry to capture the battery opportunity.
“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,” said FBICRC CEO Stedman Ellis.
“We are shining a light on the different segments of an industry in which Australia can be a leader, and there is substantial economic value to gain if we capture the opportunity.”
Investing in diversified battery industries can strengthen Australian economy as battery demand grows
Over the next 10 years, the report notes that Australia has an opportunity for real industry growth, shaped by changing international relationships and driven by technological improvements in batteries, increasing demand for energy storage and regulatory changes within energy systems.
Demand for batteries has grown steadily but is now forecast to accelerate, increasing 9- to 10-fold over the next decade, with sales expected to reach between $133bn and $151bn by 2030.
“Our current battery industries contribute an estimated $1.3bn to our GDP and 6,000 jobs, almost all of which comes from mining raw materials,” said Toby Brennan, director within Accenture’s strategy practice.
“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.”
Report recommendations on how to increase Australia’s stake in batteries
The report identifies six opportunities for Australia to expand its presence across the battery value chain.
It recommends continuing to invest and expand refining capacity of locally mined materials; establishing active materials manufacturing capability to serve the global value chain; establishing battery pack manufacturing and assembly capability focusing on specialised use cases; establishing cell manufacturing capability to complement battery pack manufacturing and assembly activities; leveraging domestic capability in integration and maintenance to export services to the region; and creating a circular economy for battery material.
The analysis also lays out a strategy to create a comprehensive and unified battery industries development policy.
It makes recommendations framed 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; and that the battery industries, research organisations and education institutions collaborate to drive growth.