The Norwegian government’s Green Platform initiative has approved around 100 million Norwegian kroner (about 9.8 million euros) to support the research project ‘Sustainable Materials for the Battery Value Chain’ to establish sustainable battery production in the country.
According to the announcement, the project will cover “activities along the entire battery value chain”, from the production of active battery materials to cell production, battery ageing modelling, safety and recycling.
This orientation also fits the focus of the project partners: The Norwegian metal producer Elkem had founded its own subsidiary for battery materials in 2021 with Vianode. Morrow Batteries is building a 32 GWh battery cell factory in Norway and is already cooperating with Vianode on anode materials. Freyr is also building a cell factory and had already signed an agreement with Elkem in 2020. Corvus Energy specialises in batteries and fuel cells for maritime applications. The aluminium producer Norsk Hydro operates a recycling joint venture called Hydrovolt together with the Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt, which is building a recycling plant in Norway.
The aforementioned companies are now to initiate the project together with the Norwegian Institute of Energy Technology and SINTEF (an independent Norwegian research organisation), according to the notices. Due to the early stage, no specific research projects are mentioned yet.
“It is through research and innovation we create tomorrow’s sustainable society,” says Jan Christian Vestre, Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry. “The Norwegian government wishes to use the Green Platform initiative to stimulate bigger and more rapid investments from companies in green sustainable solutions and products.”
As expected, the response from industry partners has been positive. Jan Arve Haugan, President and Managing Director of Freyr, sees the support as sending “a strong signal from the Norwegian authorities that batteries are a key strategic focus area to decarbonize our energy and transportation systems”. “We very much appreciate the Norwegian government’s strong support for this research and innovation project within sustainable materials for the battery value chain and we look forward to working together with our other industry and research partners,” says Stian Madshus, Vice President and General Manager Europe at Vianode.
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