It was fantastic to work with Reuters on this important call to arms for the UK battery sector!
Batteries are a key part of the new energy supply chain, both for automotive and renewable energy storage applications, but there are huge challenges for the UK industry:
- The objective is an integrated industrial value chain- manufacturing, assembling high value products and ultimately recycling the cells and materials
- There are currently severe market distortions in the global supply chain that will likely require temporary state intervention to redress
- Structural deficits in the supply of battery elements are looming for the global industry- price and supply volatility is inevitable in the medium term
The UK has a history of devising cost-effective solutions to attract vital private sector investment for these types of challenges, and we urgently need that now:
- Brexit catalyses the challenge but also the solutions- can we develop a domestic industry by 2027?
- We need UK Gigafactories, but also a short supply chain to support them- because batteries are heavy!
- Multilateral solutions can address supply concerns: e.g. alliances with Canada, Australia and South Africa
- Dynamic innovation and rigorous environmental standards can build on the UK's strengths in a global market-place
The Six-Year Challenge is on!