Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Open for any sort of non-technical discussion regarding EVs
Post Reply
User avatar
jonescg
Senior Member
Posts: 2294
Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by jonescg » Sun, 20 May 2018, 17:59

I was invited to attend an Expression of Interest meeting organised by the proponents of a large Cooperative Research Centre a week ago.

The New Energy Industry CRC is effectively a Battery CRC - bringing together miners, manufacturers, research laboratories and academia, as well as governments and related organisations like automobile clubs and the AEVA. There was an appreciation that Australia has everything we need to make batteries, yet we export dirt and import batteries made in China, Korea or Japan. Nickel and cobalt miners are lamenting their export product is a sulphate salt, meaning most of what they are exporting is water and sulphur, and not much base metal.

"Why can't we export rolls of cathode?" they said. At that point, we might as well manufacture the cells here!

I attended with two hats on - my employer, and on behalf of the AEVA. There is plenty of room for all manner of research into how we use this new energy storage bonanza just waiting to happen, while there are many industrial processes which remain unresolved, and holding things back.

Have a read of the proposal, which includes the nature of CRCs at first, and the main streams which will be covered by the program. I'm sure AEVA can contribute primarily to the first stream, while lots of our corporate members will find plenty of opportunities in the last three streams.

I really hope it gets up!

Chris
Attachments
NEI CRC Perth Workshop v7.pdf
(1.07 MiB) Downloaded 55 times
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3294
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by Richo » Mon, 21 May 2018, 13:06

Yeah there is a reason we export raw materials.
1. It is cheaper to process overseas.
2. Less chemical pollution in Australia when processed overseas.
3. Large capital expenditure required to start processing in Australia.
4. To a lesser extent we don't have the technical capabilities to as good a job.

Sure we can do all sorts of things in Australia to reduce "threats within the global energy storage market".
But it probably isn't worth it.

The first part just sounds like pyramid sales.
I'll organise it all as long as I get $1M+ out of it...

Well at least on the face of it looks like they are achieving something.
I hope it isn't like the episode of the Simpsons where they have a mono-rail installed.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marge_vs._the_Monorail
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way! Blasphemy is a swear word. Magnetic North is a south Pole.

User avatar
jonescg
Senior Member
Posts: 2294
Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by jonescg » Wed, 23 May 2018, 19:27

Unlike you, I'm far more optimistic about the proposal.

Battery manufacture in Australia should cost exactly the same as anywhere in Asia. The entire process is done by machines and they cost the same no matter where you build them. We could just as easily set up a gigafactory here in Australia to export cells around the world. There's a feeling amongst European EV makers that they would rather buy from somewhere that's 'not China' - even if their quality suspicions are completely baseless.

The chemical pollution is already happening here in Australia at our nickel refineries and smelters. We export base metals and metal salts - the process of making a battery from there on in is really quite benign.

The capital expenditure happened in China, Japan and Korea, and now they are making batteries. Why would Australia be any different? Hell, Tesla has signed an off-take agreement with Kidman here in WA. There's money to spend. We just need to spend it on smart stuff like manufacturing and processing, and not dumb stuff like housing estates or bitcoin.

And we have always had a skilled migration scheme for bringing in the best minds and skilled people. Look at any higher research position advertised at universities or the CSIRO - international applicants are actually favoured over local applicants, usually because they bring the knowledge that we hope to retain here for good.

As for the CRC funding model - yep, that's how they all work. I've seen some badly managed ones, and some reasonably productive ones. But this proposal came across to me as being one of the best organised and clearly explained proposals I've seen in a long time (and I've reviewed a few grants before).
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

User avatar
mikedufty
Senior Member
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 00:15
Real Name: Michael Dufty
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by mikedufty » Wed, 23 May 2018, 23:10

I've got work this week helping with environmental approvals for a lithium refinery. Good start.

User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3294
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by Richo » Thu, 24 May 2018, 12:20

jonescg wrote:
Wed, 23 May 2018, 19:27
Tesla has signed an off-take agreement with Kidman here in WA.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/western ... e=rss_feed
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way! Blasphemy is a swear word. Magnetic North is a south Pole.

User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3294
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by Richo » Thu, 24 May 2018, 12:36

jonescg wrote:
Wed, 23 May 2018, 19:27
Battery manufacture in Australia should cost exactly the same as anywhere in Asia. The entire process is done by machines and they cost the same no matter where you build them.
No way.
Land is different.
Regulations are different.
Shipping is different.
It isn't a lights out process so there will be people which have different wages and different working conditions.
Cost in building the factory will be different.

By different I mean more.

Electricity is more to run the factory.
And the list goes on...

Which part were you thinking that the cost would be the same/cheaper than Asia?
Oh right we don't have to export the raw material anymore.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way! Blasphemy is a swear word. Magnetic North is a south Pole.

User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3294
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by Richo » Thu, 24 May 2018, 12:42

jonescg wrote:
Wed, 23 May 2018, 19:27
There's money to spend. We just need to spend it on smart stuff like manufacturing and processing, and not dumb stuff like housing estates or bitcoin.
I agree.
And in the end Australia gets more money if we are value adding rather than sending off raw materials.

Well at least we weren't duped like the Vic govt with the "supercap" energy storage saga :lol:
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way! Blasphemy is a swear word. Magnetic North is a south Pole.

User avatar
jonescg
Senior Member
Posts: 2294
Joined: Thu, 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Re: Proposed "New Energy Industry" CRC for Australia!

Post by jonescg » Thu, 24 May 2018, 12:53

Cost to set up will be more in Australia (although that's changed for the better now that construction firms are scratching around for work) but the operations side of things is no different. Electricity might cost 2-3 times as much as China, but energy is only part of the equation. Anyway, we know how to reduce those costs already *glances up at sun*.

Production of stuff in China is also cheap because of numerous levels of public support and subsidy. Subsidy is a dirty word in Australia unfortunately, even if it's a totally worthwhile idea. After all, it seems to be working in China.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

Post Reply