Department for Business and Trade publishes UK battery strategy

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has published its UK battery strategy alongside the wider Advanced manufacturing plan.

The document outlines the Government's efforts to align with their strategic objectives concerning batteries, establishing a framework and priorities for future industry engagement. Employing a design-build-sustain methodology, the strategy seeks to aid businesses in the design and development of future batteries, enhance the robustness of manufacturing supply chains, and facilitate the growth of a sustainable battery industry. This will support the Government’s ambition for the UK to have a globally competitive battery supply chain that supports economic prosperity and the net zero transition by 2030.

The strategy sets out 15 action points for the Government, including:

  • Targeted support for zero-emission vehicles, batteries, and their supply chains with over £2 billion in capital and R&D funding spanning five years until 2030.
  • Allocating £11 million in investment for 20 competition winners focused on advancing technologies across the battery value chain. This includes innovations in AI and digital tools to enhance battery performance, exploration of future technologies such as lithium-metal anodes and sodium-ion batteries, and advancements in recycling technologies.
  • Actively exploring opportunities to endorse the establishment of R&D centres in the UK by collaborating with leading battery and electric vehicle manufacturers.
  • Investigating new financial mechanisms to bolster startups in the battery sector, including potential support through both public and private equity investment, complemented by government seed funding.
  • Pursuing an expanded market access strategy for the critical minerals trade and advocating for high standards during negotiations for new Free Trade Agreements.
  • Encouraging international collaboration on batteries (including reuse, repurposing, and recycling) through engagement in both new and existing forums. The aim is to ensure alignment across jurisdictions and the adoption of consistent, high standards.
  • Establishing an environment that welcomes foreign investment while safeguarding national security. This will involve scrutinising investments in battery manufacturing and the broader energy sector on a case-by-case basis under the National Security and Investment Act.
  • Collaborating with industry, Ofgem and network companies to deliver the actions needed to accelerate connection timescales.
  • Publication of the highly anticipated consultation and Call for Evidence, focusing on increasing battery collection rates and promoting best practices in the end-of-life management of all battery types and chemistries. Defra will collaborate with the entire supply chain to consider comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the ecosystem. This has now been scheduled for “as early as possible in 2024”.
  • Ensuring robust support for manufacturing skills training through employer-led initiatives and collaborating with academia and industry to develop an inclusive talent pipeline.

The paper also mentions the Government’s commitment to upholding stringent standards for battery safety and endorses planning and permitting reforms that will support the emerging battery sector.

We will be in touch with members to discuss the consultation and Call for Evidence mentioned in the strategy as soon as they are launched. 

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