Advanced Materials Battery Council
Advanced materials and batteries, a new sector in Australia, critical to meet Net Zero Emissions by 2050
Why do we need advanced materials and batteries?
The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that reaching Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE2050) will increase annual global energy investment from US$2 trillion currently to US$5 trillion over the next decade. Of that, global annual investment in batteries to stabilise variable renewable energy will increase from negligible levels to $78 billion, while investment in batteries for transportation will increase from $13 billion to approximately $370 billion per annum. Thus, meeting NZE2050 requires a very large investment in new technologies, in particular nano-technologies and battery chemistries.
Multiple new technologies and chemistries required
Li-ion batteries for passenger transport electrification are not the only growth area for energy storage. The Faraday Institution is predicting that batteries that extend performance beyond the fundamental limits of li-ion technology are essential for the transformation of aviation. Lithium-sulfur batteries (Li-S) replace metal-rich cathodes required for LiBs with comparatively cheap and abundant sulfur. Forecasts suggest that Li-S cells may have comparable performance to Li-ion cells but at half the price, which could transform aviation by 2050.
Securing electricity supply from high proportions of wind and solar generation requires stationary energy storage and there are multiple technologies that seek to provide a solution. The Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council predicts that when renewable energy contributes 60-70% to electricity supply (for NZE2050 between 2025 and 2035), widespread deployment of LDES will be required. One of the world’s longest running flow battery (zinc-bromine) companies, is headquartered in Brisbane. In addition, vanadium flow batteries are predicted to play an important role in long duration energy storage and QLD hosts one of the largest vanadium deposits in the world near Richmond-Julia Creek.
Meeting NZE2050 will require large investment in all energy storage technologies. Technologies for passenger transportation, for securing renewable energy supply, and powering air transportation in the next 2-3 decades will evolve, but to reduce emissions in line with NZE2050 requirements, investment in all viable battery chemistries is necessary now.
Australia has significant deposits of the requisite critical minerals for battery storage and access to large deposits of nickel and cobalt in nearby New Caledonia. Australian universities produce world-leading research across the value chain from innovative methods for extraction, processing metals to appropriate levels of purity, and electro-chemistry. In addition, Australia is home to many innovative tech start-ups with world-class technologies for processing and manufacturing from ores to end-use battery products which meet ESG credentials to supply to the northern hemisphere. These tech start-ups and university researchers will become the cornerstone of an advanced materials and battery manufacturing ecosystem.
What is the Advanced Materials and Battery Council?
The development of a new manufacturing sector requires significant collaboration between industry, governments and research institutions. In recognition of this collaboration, tech start-ups, universities and governments have joined to form an Advanced Materials and Battery Council (AMBC). The AMBC seeks to improve knowledge about the breadth of technology offerings already under development in Australia, share information to create fertile ground for an advanced manufacturing and battery eco-system, and develop new supply chains to the northern hemisphere unrestricted by geopolitics.
The AMBC is headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Whilst the AMBC originated in Queensland, it seeks to facilitate the advanced materials and battery value chain throughout Australia and beyond.
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