Europe's battery industry currently relies heavily on imports for raw materials, making it vulnerable to supply chain disruptions caused by factors such as the Covid pandemic, the war against Ukraine and geopolitical tensions. The access to secure and sustainable raw materials is crucial for ensuring economic stability, promoting social responsibility, protecting the environment, and driving innovation.
The competitiveness of the European battery industry is closely tied to the reliable and sustainable supply of raw materials. Europe has the potential for a higher self-supply with critical raw materials. To address this issue, the EU Commission has proposed the Critical Raw Materials Act, which sends a clear message that Europe is open to attracting mining and raw material production. The proposal comes with a list of ambitious measures:
++ reduction of permitting procedures for selected raw material projects
++ benchmarks for mining, processing and recycling
++ easier access to finance for selected raw material projects
++ invest in research, innovation and skills for mining and processing technologies
++ supply chain risks audits and company-level stress tests
++ coordination of national strategic raw material stocks
++ trade actions and strategic partnerships
Now what are the implications for the battery industry in Europe? Will these measures unlock Europe’s potential in battery raw material production, strengthens the competitiveness and the resilience of the battery industry?