Government launches battery strategy for the UK

Sun 26 November 2023 View all news

The Government has published a battery strategy which, it says, aims for the UK to achieve a globally competitive battery supply chain by 2030 which supports economic prosperity and the net zero transition.

The strategy focuses on how the UK can achieve a thriving battery innovation ecosystem and become a world leader in sustainable design, manufacture, and use. The Government says the strategy is "based around a design-build-sustain approach". Through this strategy, the UK will: 

  • design and develop the batteries of the future
  • strengthen the resilience of UK manufacturing supply chains
  • enable the development of a sustainable battery industry

The battery strategy is published  alongside the Advanced Manufacturing Plan which includes the Government’s commitment to over £2 billion in new capital and R&D funding being made available for the automotive sector, supporting the manufacturing and development of zero emission vehicles, their batteries and supply chain for five years to 2030.

The battery strategy is launched with promises of new funding, including an additional £38m for the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which will focus on research and innovation and an additional £12m for the new Advanced Materials Battery Industrialisation Centre, set up to bridge the gap between research and commercialization. There is also an additional £11m for the Faraday Challenge, to support innovators and £20m for a new proof-of-concept scheme to develop a pathway for scaling university spin-outs.

The Government promises "further sustained, consistent and targeted support” for specific projects across the whole value chain, on a case-by-case basis.

Batteries represent one of the highest growth clean energy sectors and the Government says that the UK is "well placed to reap the rewards thanks to its comparative advantage in research and advanced manufacturing".

Some of the Government's £2bn investment helped secure a commitment from Nissan to build three fully-electric models and an additional gigafactory at its Sunderland plant. (See related story.)

Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security at the Department for Business and Trade writing in the foreword to the battery strategy comments that most industrial rechargeable batteries are now manufactured in East Asia. She said: “Our approach sets the strategy as we further develop the regulations and support mechanisms to leverage growth in the sector, particularly to seize the economic opportunities of increased reuse, repair, repurposing, and recycling of industrial batteries.”

Commenting on the plans, Mike Hawes, SMMT's Chief Executive, said: “Decarbonising road transport is essential if net zero is to be achieved, and that transition must be ‘built in Britain’.

“The Government’s advanced manufacturing plan sets out measures to support the UK automotive supply chain as it undergoes the most significant transition in its history.

“The plan, together with a new battery strategy to support the development and production of this critical technology, is essential if the UK is to compete in the face of fierce global competition. These initiatives can only help to attract the investment necessary to seize the growth opportunities a net zero economy offers.”

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