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Battery Production Key To Australian Economic Growth

Australia is the world leader when it comes to the mining of battery metals like lithium and nickel, accounting for roughly half the world’s total.

When it comes the actual production of batteries, lithium-ion cells, and the refinement of these metals, we trail far behind.

A new report commissioned by the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre spells out this disconnect, arguing that adding more battery production capacity would add $7.4 billion to our economy by 2030, dwarfing the current $4.1 billion in value that would be achieved by simply mining and exporting raw materials (i.e. what we currently do), while creating 16,000 extra jobs to boot.

“Australia has many strengths for succeeding in this ambition,” said Stedman Ellis, chief executive officer of the Future Battery Industries group. “There is substantial economic value to gain if we capture the opportunity.”

Global battery sales will leap tenfold to US$151 billion by 2030, due to the expected influx of electric vehicles, and energy storage systems, according to the report. This will result in “unprecedented but achievable increases in materials, components and cell production”, which is where Australia should step in.

It would also boost our hydrogen sector.

“The technologies are also complementary,” the report said. “Batteries can support 24/7 green hydrogen production, meaning that both industries can prosper.”

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