The governance of battery value chains: security, sustainability and Australian policy options

Jeffrey Wilson, Kirsten Martinus

Research output: Book/ReportOther output


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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPerth
PublisherFuture Battery Industries CRC
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


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