Supporting the domestic production of raw and advanced materials for energy storage and conversion
On 16 February, ERMA officially kicked off the second Cluster focused on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion. The meeting brought together over 160 stakeholders from industry, academia, research, national authorities, associations and financial institutions.
ERMA works on identifying barriers, opportunities and investment cases to build capacity at all stages of the raw materials value chain, from mining to waste recovery. Due to the rapid development of green energy technologies, the demand for rare earths critical for products like wind turbines and electric motors could increase more than ten-fold by 2050. The first ERMA cluster, therefore, focuses on the highly important value chain of the Rare Earth Magnets and Motors. The second cluster expands ERMA’s scope to address critical and strategic raw materials needed for Energy Storage and Conversion applications, such as batteries, fuel cells, solar and hydrogen and other alternative energy storage and conversion systems.
Since the kick-off of the Rare Earths Magnet and Motors Cluster, ERMA partnership has grown to over 450 members from industry, associations, government institutions, NGOs, trade unions, universities and research organisations, from Greenland to Australia. Over 100 investment cases are currently being evaluated, and we have established a strong partnership with some of the most important EU financial institutions.
ERMA Cluster on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion focuses on the raw materials needs to enable the green energy transition in Europe. Our joint efforts will improve the competitiveness of the European producers of raw and advanced materials as well as recyclers to create sustainable, responsible and resilient supply chains to the booming battery industry.
Bernd Schäfer, CEO, Managing Director at EIT RawMaterials
The first meeting of the cluster focused on the value chain-specific consultation processes to identify raw materials challenges along industrial ecosystems and within the wider society. The discussions highlighted the urgency to secure the raw materials needs for the battery industry, both from upstream and recycling sources.
Peter Handley, DG GROW Energy-Intensive Industries and Raw Materials, welcomed the launch of ERMA Cluster on Energy Storage and Conversion.
ERMA Cluster on Energy Storage and Conversion will help identify the necessary investments to support the EU’s policies on renewables energies, energy sector integration and hydrogen.
Peter Handley, DG GROW Energy-Intensive Industries and Raw Materials
Building a sustainable, competitive and innovative battery value chain in Europe requires complete legal certainty to the economic operators to make the required investments. José Rizo Martin, Senior Expert, DG Environment, and Cesar Santos Gil, Policy Officer, DG Environment, joined the meeting to present the EU Battery Regulation proposal. The proposal includes a new classification category for EV batteries, supply chain due diligence policy and a battery passport, which will facilitate sustainable sourcing, higher recycling rates and circular design for the battery value chain actors in Europe.
Fabrice Stassin, Director Government Affairs Electromobility Projects, Umicore SA/NV, highlighted the importance of the sustainable supply of critical raw materials for the deployment of hydrogen technologies. Circular material strategies, such as advanced materials enabling higher performance and improved durability of end-users, new compositions, recycling, will be key to mitigate supply risks.
Fabrice Stassin and Philippe Jacques, Managing Director, EMIRI, stressed the importance of synergies between ERMA and key EU battery and hydrogen alliances. We see ERMA activities complementary to the other EU alliances, and we are exploring cooperation opportunities within the specific task force groups in the ERMA Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion Cluster.
I am very happy to see the enthusiasm from the ERMA community towards the Energy Storage and Conversion Cluster. There is a clear urgency to close the gap between European supply and demand for materials that ensure energy transition from the brown to the green economy. The ERMA approach is to look at the big picture around all relevant energy storage and conversion applications and what needs to happen in policy, regulation and finance to create real impact.
Dr Olli Salmi, Innovation Hub Director at EIT RawMaterials, leading ERMA Cluster on Energy Storage and Conversion
Elected task force groups
The kick-off meeting marked the appointment of the task force leaders that were elected by the ERMA community:
- Battery materials: Pierre-Alain Gautier (ERAMET)
- Fuel cells: Fabrice Stassin (Umicore) with support of Renaut Mosdale (Pragma-Industries)
- Alternative energy storage and conversion: Alberto Tremolada (ADACI Group)
- Solar energy conversion: Emile Elewaut (Senior Advisor to Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs) and Estelle Gervais (Fraunhofer)
We are only at the start of the journey, and we are now collecting input from the task forces on concrete actions to secure domestic supply for energy storage and conversion.
If you are interested in joining the Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion Cluster, please contact the ERMA team at firstname.lastname@example.org