Monica Mæland, at the time Norway’s Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, officially opened Corvus Energy's new battery factory in Bergen last year. The region is well-suited to welcome further investments into battery manufacturing.

Greater Bergen could become battery manufacturing hotspot

The Nordic countries are seeing a rise in battery manufacturing, and Greater Bergen is well-placed to benefit from this.

Demand for batteries is increasing across the world, as consumers turn to electric vehicles, and governments invest in grid-scale energy storage. However, the industry is also facing pressure to become more sustainable.

Studies have shown that battery factories often have a high carbon footprint, and human rights groups have criticised poor working conditions in the battery supply chain.

Now, a new generation of companies across Norway and Sweden are taking aim at these challenges. Companies such as the Swedish firm Northvolt, along with Corvus Energy here in Bergen, are building environmentally-friendly battery factories that focus on sustainable supply chains.

These facilities are hoping to capture a larger share of the global energy storage market in future.


Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg spoke at the Nordic Battery Scene webinar recently, stating that batteries will play a significant role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Battery manufacturing in Greater Bergen

Prime Minister Erna Solberg recently stated that Norway was in “a unique position when it comes to battery development and production.”

Solberg noted during Innovation Norway’s Nordic Battery Scene webinar that “battery production is very energy-intensive, and easy access to affordable, renewable energy is crucial.”

“In Norway, 98% of all electricity comes from renewable resources, and we are home to primary producers of many of the raw materials used in batteries.”

Greater Bergen has particularly good access to renewable energy, as it lies within a region that is served by many local hydropower plants.

But this isn’t the only quality that sets the Bergen region apart when it comes to battery manufacturing. Our region also has a skilled workforce, strong research institutions, and is home to a shipping industry that is rapidly shifting to electric propulsion.


Western Norway is becoming a hotspot for zero-emissions shipping. Ampere (pictured) made headlines in 2016 as the world’s first battery-driven passenger ferry, and the region now boasts a range of fully-electric vessels. Photo © NCE Maritime CleanTech. 

“The maritime capital of Norway”

Geir Bjørkeli, CEO of the battery producer Corvus Energy, stated earlier this year during our webinar on zero-emissions shipping that moving to the region felt like a natural choice for his company.

“Bergen is the maritime capital of Norway. For us to be a member of that maritime cluster, where we can work closely with NCE Maritime CleanTech, Norled, and other players, is very important for us,” said Bjørkeli. “In terms of developing our applications and working with shipowners, Bergen is the place to be.”

Corvus Energy opened its high-tech factory in Bergen last year, at an event involving politicians, business leaders and even a few robots.

The robotic helpers opened a bottle of champagne for the evening’s guests, as a reference to the advanced and almost fully‑automated work that is carried out here.

Although the factory is home to more than 50 employees, there are very few humans on the actual assembly floor. Instead, sleek robotic arms are tasked with constructing Corvus’s battery packs for ships including ferries and cruise liners.

When the batteries reach the end of their “first life” on board these vessels, the company is committed to collecting them and re-using them for other purposes.


Eyde-Cluster recently launched the Battery Norway platform, which aims to strengthen the Norwegian battery manufacturing sector. 

New battery manufacturing initiatives across Norway

Up and down the country, other companies are also working to make battery manufacturing more sustainable. 

The Battery Norway platform was recently launched in order to unite this growing sector, and help to connect Norwegian companies to large-scale Nordic and EU projects.

The initative is being led by Eyde-Cluster in southern Norway, and will involve a partnership of companies including Freyr, Beyonder, Morrow Batteries, Glencore Nikkelverk and Elkem.

According to Lars Petter Maltby at Eyde-Cluster, “There are huge industrial opportunities within the battery sector in Norway. Consequently, we are now launching Battery Norway to strengthen battery initiatives within both the industrial and political arenas.”

According to a recent report, the global market for energy storage will grow to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035.

It seems that Norway – and Greater Bergen – are well‑positioned to take a larger role in this exciting market.

 

Find out more about Greater Bergen’s energy industry

 



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