The Green Shift is one of three focus areas in the strategy of the Norwegian Board of Technology, where several new projects will be launched. The second project carried out is to assess the climate and industry potential of the battery production value chain.
The effects of the climate crisis are becoming increasingly clear. At the same time, public engagement contributes to stronger climate goals set by countries around the world. This accelerates the green transition and means we need to assess technologies that become crucial much sooner than anticipated.
Norwegian industry can contribute to the green shift through battery production
By some estimates, Europe needs to increase its battery production capacity by a factor of ten to reach its climate goals. Batteries are crucial to decarbonise cars, offer short-term storage in the electricity system, and are increasingly used in buses, ferries, and on-site power storage for construction.
Norway can offer reliable access to emissions-free electricity, industrial areas, and experience with process industry. Given the future market size, battery production including precursors and post-production packing and system integration is the green industry with the highest value potential.
The competition to establish battery production and secure market shares is tightening. Major initiatives are taking place all over Europe, and many of them have strong state backing in addition to benefitting from the EU IPCEI programme and loans from the European Investment Bank.
The Norwegian Government has so far not set any concrete goals for battery production or related activities in Norway. Private initiatives receive funding through the general support measures such as Enova and Innovation Norway, if the criteria apply.
Important questions remain
While battery production and activities along the value chain represent a huge opportunity for Norwegian industry, it will not materialise by itself.
- The pace of development, and the strong international competition, indicate that the existing state support apparatus might not be sufficient to bring about investments needed.
- Battery production needs to be of such a scale that electricity consumption is significant, up to 7% of Norway’s current production according to some estimates. Norway is set to have a gap between production and use of electricity by 2026, which can endanger industrial opportunities like battery production.
- The knowledge and education needed for a battery production workforce does not exist in Norway today. Attracting foreign talent can help to some degree, but a successful battery industry will also require a major increase in education and training in battery fields.
Battery is the second topic in a series of short reports related to the green shift. The reports will cover technologies with significant climate and business potential. This policy brief will be published in May 2022.