SMaRT welcomes roadmap for renewable energy storage tech

SMaRT supports the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) in backing recommendations of the new CSIRO Renewable Energy Storage Roadmap. 

The Roadmap outlines a portfolio of developing energy storage technologies that will be essential to Australia’s target to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050, 

ATSE says: "High-temperature industrial processes such as cement, steel, and mineral processing require innovative technology storage systems to support decarbonisation. Researchers like Professor Veena Sahajwalla FTSE FAA are developing solutions to reduce electricity requirements through creative approaches such as using waste coffee grounds and hydrogen as carbon sources in steel making. These process improvements must be supported by low emissions electricity sources and storage to enable Australian industry to decarbonise."

The Roadmap echoes recent SMaRT federal Government submissions on the Consultation of the National Reconstruction Fund and the National Battery Strategy Issues Paper, where we strongly emphasise the need to start recovering from complex waste streams, like batteries and e-waste, the valuable materials they contain as manufacturing feedstock, rather than to continue landfilling, stockpiling and exporting these hard to recycle wastes.

Some specific areas SMaRT supports in the Roadmap report are:

  • (Page 134) Develop technologies and models for developing resource circularity (e.g. second-life use and recycling of lithium-batteries) in order to overcome supply constraints and price volatility of lithium batteries and critical battery metals.
  • (Page 141) Partnering with industry and research to support the establishment of end-of-life management systems and technologies to reduce supply chain risks related to critical minerals. Examples include the recovery of high-value metals found in batteries, and vanadium electrolyte solution recycling. 
  • (Page 147) Stocks and flows modelling to identify key material bottlenecks and value streams of critical energy storage metals (e.g. cobalt and nickel), as well as opportunities to improve resource circularity. This can inform mineral extraction planning and scale up of recycling infrastructure.
  • (Page 147) Minimising the impact of energy materials mining and processing via lower-impact processes and improved waste management (e.g. tailings reprocessing). A circular economy requires the participation of and collaboration between stakeholders across the value chain; for example, there are opportunities to integrate energy storage product recycling with raw material processing.
  • (Page 147) Design to extend the durability of energy storage assets and enable the repair, second life and recycling of energy storage products. This includes research into novel materials, component design, safety for second-life use and recycling technologies.

These areas are currently being actively researched by SMaRT.

See below links for details:

Read about our waste battery research program

Read about our Green Metals recycling technologies