Australia’s recycling opportunity emerges as batteries boom

Batteries are becoming crucial enablers of Australia’s transition to renewable energy. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has identified an increase in battery usage across all sectors, including large-scale, distributed energy resources and the electrification of transport, as the driver for a potential AUD 3.1 billion ($2.4 billion) lithium-ion battery recycling industry. “The demand for lithium-ion batteries is increasing globally, fueled by the increasing electrification of transport and the renewable energy generation storage sector,” said Dr. Anand Bhatt, lead author of the Australian Landscape for Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling and Reuse in 2020 report.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that growth is expected to continue in 2021, with 15 large-scale battery projects already announced this year, representing 6.6 GW of storage and AUD 4.3 billion in investment. “The commercial case for batteries will continue to improve as battery technology advances and new markets are established to reward the services they provide,” Thornton said.

However, the CSIRO has warned that as demand grows for energy storage and batteries, so too does the amount of lithium-ion battery waste. The science agency said lithium-ion batteries generally have a lifespan of five to 10 years (but current development trends are increasing this to 10 to 15 years). This, combined with batteries used in renewable energy storage systems, means a large volume of end-of-life batteries will soon be on our doorstop.

Source: PV Magazine


Author: Raisa Pajarinen