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UK could become significant player in battery manufacturing with financial support

According to a report published by Green Finance Institute, the UK has plenty of opportunities to become a significant battery manufacturer. However, that is not possible without financial support. The report says that the country to build capacity in two ways. It could be persuading major manufacturers or building a domestic industry with startups. It could also be a combination of both ways.

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Image credits- ET Green

In China, the current battery industry is known to be worth around $41 billion, with an 85 percent market share. And the market share is expected to rise between $116 and $278 billion in the coming seven years. Whereas UK’s share is evaluated to be around $24 billion.

While the report seems to have pointed out that two ways are possible to increase UK’s battery manufacturing. Basically, the key appears to be the money that is being invested. Lauren Pamma, Program Director at the Green Finance Institute said, “There is a window of opportunity but it is rapidly closing. With this report, we want to raise investor awareness of the need to invest in the battery supply chain.” In the worth battery market, China is currently dominating its presence. Elsewhere the major industry players are having their own investments to set up a plant.

Underlying potential

Despite China being a done deal to stay at the top. Pamma insists that there is still potential for the UK. Said, “We are not competing for market share with China. But we can capture some market share.”

But that may or may not benefit the startup companies that are currently developing technologies. And it cannot be said that Britain’s battery sector will be dominated by corporate businesses.  Pamma says entrepreneurial businesses will have a role. “There are a lot of opportunities for SMEs – such as in anode, cathode manufacturing, and electrolyte supply,” she says. But there is a caveat. “This is a very capital intensive business,” she says adding that it requires sums of money that VCs have been traditionally reluctant to commit. Equally – and in common with a lot of hardware-based Greentech projects – the timelines to market are longer. Again a deterrent for VCs.

The government has been pump-priming the battery sector to the tune of £318 million through the aforementioned Faraday Challenge and there is a £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre providing funding. Further cash is being channeled through the U.K. Battery Industrialisation Centre, which was set up to help with the development of products.

 

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