Battery tech from Norway

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With an abundance of clean energy, a world-class process industry and unrivaled access to used EV batteries, Norway is carving the path to green battery production in Europe.

Batteries are the key to cutting emissions from transportation and industry. There is a growing consensus that we need to build a sustainable battery value chain in Europe, and there are several good reasons why Norway can play a significant role in such a European battery value chain.

Norwegian industry produces substantial amounts of aluminium and silicon, in addition to refining nickel, cobalt, graphite and copper – all important materials in battery production. Because virtually all energy here comes from renewable sources, these processed materials made in Norway have some of the smallest environmental footprints in the world.

With a world-leading process industry, there is great potential in the production of such precursor materials in Norway – that is, preparing the metals that need to be processed before they go into the batteries themselves. Norway boasts a high level of competence and expertise in this area, with world-leading clusters such as the Eyde cluster, and Norwegian industry workers are known to be both innovative and efficient in delivering high quality products.

In addition, there are opportunities for establishing development and production of battery cells here. Up-and coming-companies like Freyr and Beyonder, as well as the newly established Morrow Batteries, show that this is possible.

Then there is the technology side of things: Norway is a cradle for developments in autonomous vessels and renewable marine transport.

And finally, there is great industrial potential in recycling and reusing batteries in Norway.

In terms of sustainability, a battery’s lifespan is just as vital as the production methods. The European Green Deal states that battery production must be circular, meaning that the batteries of today literally must be used to make the batteries of tomorrow.

Recycling batteries, however, is a challenging task, and several Norwegian initiatives are spearheading work here, such as LIBRES. Libres is a collaboration between industry, headed by the Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro, and Norwegian and German research institutions, aimed at developing and improving solutions for battery recycling. There’s also the BATMAN project, which looks closely at the material usage and lifetime and Norwegian opportunities that arise as the battery recycling value chain matures.

And with the world’s highest proportion of EV vehicles, Norway could expand its role as a laboratory for circular battery production.

Although Norway is not an EU Member State, it is fully integrated in the EU economy through the EEA Agreement. This means that there are no barriers to moving materials, capital, technology and employees between Norway and the EU, so Norwegian industry is able to contribute directly to a European battery value chain.

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A circular battery value chain

Power and transport sectors that are coupled with battery power.

Global Battery Alliance; McKinsey and SYSTEMIQ analysis

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