Materials for Lithium ion battery production was highlighted at Industri Futurum 2020 as one of the key growth segments, where Norway has a comparative advantage .
Hydro CTO Hans Eric Vatne recently delivered the Prosess21 expert groups report on product development within the process industry. As part of the expert groups work, Eyde Cluster organized a workshop in Kristiansand on two key topics:
- Which positions can AS Norway take in the battery supply chain?
- How can the Norwegian process industry develop specialized products for the battery market?
How we can take positions
The workshop resulted in 8 recommendations for how Norway can take positions within the LIB value chain. “The recommendation from this workshop cover the whole value chain from material production, national competitiveness, recycling and public sector procurement. The battery value chain is developing at breakneck speed in Europe, and is one of the key sustainable growth opportunities for Norway in the decade to come, concludes Stephen Sayfritz in Eyde Cluster, who origanised the workshop on behalf of the product development group.
Creation of a Norwegian corporate network focusing on innovation and market opportunities that encompass the entire battery production value chain.
Facilities for processing and piloting the production of battery materials (tens of kilograms scale) in full size EV battery cells should be made available as part of Norway's national industrial infrastructure. The Norwegian catapult centers are tailor-made for this task and should be further developed in this direction. Both Future Materials and the Sustainable Energy catapult centers have already invested in button cell battery testing infrastructure. However, full-scale infrastructure for larger cell testing is also important for demonstrating material performance, and is not available in Norway at present.
The Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway, SIVA, ENOVA and Nysnø should use a coordinated and long-term approach. A national product pipeline should build using existing tools available to these organizations. The UK’s Faraday battery challenge could be used as a template.
Process 21’s framework conditions group are encouraged to use LIB cell production for benchmarking in their work, as well as precursors / active material production and large-scale recycling of EV (Electric vehicle) LIB. If Norway can attract more major players along the entire value chain, it will significantly strengthen the existing players and give national effects, as well as increase the competitiveness of the various parts of the value chain. Access to clean energy, materials and associated material expertise can be regarded as a comparative advantage for Norway and thus enable the production of batteries with the lowest possible carbon footprint.
New regulations in China require 98% of Ni, Mn and Co, together with 85% of Li, to be recovered during LIB recycling. This is an important development that will affect the update of the EU's Battery Directive, which is expected in 2020/21. This is a significant improvement over 50% by weight, which is required in the EU today. Therefore, the Research Council, Innovation Norway and ENOVA should support and prioritize measures / projects / sectors that seek to meet or exceed these recovery goals in an economic way. The Pilot-E program and one or more permanent innovation programs can play a key role here.
Incentives and systems should be developed to encourage sustainable reuse and possible recycling of EV LIB in Norway, which corresponds to approximately 8.6 GWh of storage capacity. A one-time EV export fee from Norway should be considered to increase the likelihood of batteries remaining in Norway. In addition, the incentive system should include i) reduction of value added tax for energy systems containing used EV batteries. ii) VAT-free microtransactions for battery-based energy storage systems that are part of an energy network (smart grid) iii) increased debris / incentives to follow best practices in terms of. reuse and high recycling rate.
Electrification of public transport is an emission-reducing measure in relation to both CO2 emissions and local pollution. "Leasing" is mainly used to procure public transport (bus, etc.) in Norway. Due to high utilization rates, the buses will probably be able to be used longer than the batteries, as opposed to private electric cars. Therefore, sustainable reuse and possible recycling of bus and truck delivered on lease agreements in Norway should be facilitated. The use of CO2 footprints in battery production should also be considered as a criterion in public procurement.
It is recommended that a special education be offered on batteries at BSc., MSc. and PhD level to build and secure national expertise in batteries and the value chain.