Building a local battery industry

  • Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2023
  • Venue: Hybrid


Lesego Moshikaro-Amani (TIPS) - Paving the path for a local battery industry in South Africa

Kgashane Mohale (IDC) - Battery value chain - IDC segmental approach (Slide)


Media article: Battery industry set to boom - Business Times (Sunday Times) 22 October 2023

Media article: SMMEs can enter the battery energy value chain - Vutivi Business News 19 October 2023

Media article: Opportunities, challenges for South Africa in LIB, VRFB industries - Engineering News 18 October 2023


Report: Opportunities to develop the lithium-ion battery (LIB) battery value chain in South Africa (2021) - Gaylor Montmasson Clair, Lesego Moshikaro and Lerato Monaisa (TIPS)

Policy Brief : Opportunities to develop the lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa (2021) - Gaylor Montmasson Clair, Lesego Moshikaro and Lerato Monaisa (TIPS)

Report: Localising vanadium battery production for South Africa's energy security (2023) - Lesego Moshikaro and Lebogang Pheto (TIPS)

Policy Brief: A review of vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) market demand and costs - Lesego Moshikaro (TIPS)


The demand for battery energy storage systems (BESS) is on the rise in various sectors, including stationary applications and transportation. BESS plays a critical role in advancing the transition towards decarbonisation. In addition, battery storage systems are pivotal in seamlessly integrating renewable energy sources into the energy landscape. The increasing demand for batteries and their constituent minerals stems from the global push to decarbonise the automotive industry and ensure a reliable energy supply through renewables coupled with energy storage.

South Africa's large production and reserves of battery materials make it well-positioned to actively participate in the battery value chain. Developing a local battery value chain presents numerous economic opportunities for South Africa. There is a notable trend where batteries are predominantly consumed in the regions where they are manufactured. This is evident in the automotive industry and in countries' strategic investments in battery value chains to ensure their energy supply security. South Africa has the minerals and a market for batteries, but it's essential to stress the need for support in advancing both market development and the growth of industrial capacity for battery production.

Given this, the question arises: how can the country effectively engage in this value chain and contribute value to upstream activities within the value chain? TIPS research delves into this issue, focusing on the beneficiation processes these minerals can undergo to support the growth of battery industries, emphasising local capabilities throughout the value chain and offering recommendations on areas in which the country can competitively engage. The report also explores ways in which industrial policy can play a more substantial role in supporting emerging and high-tech industries, and how South Africa can establish a thriving local battery industry, underscoring the significance of sustaining demand.

About the Speakers


Gaylor Montmasson-Clair is a Senior Economist at Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). He leads TIPS's work on sustainability and just transition. He is the Facilitator for the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM), the industrialisation plan for South Africa’s renewable energy value chain.


Lesego Moshikaro-Amani is Senior Economist at TIPS. Her expertise lies in industrial policy, battery energy storage value chains and the emerging sector of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in South Africa, including a strong emphasis on skill development within the NEV industry. Other areas of focus include skills development for industry and promoting employment.

Mikhail Nikomarov is an entrepreneur and African energy leader committed to resolving the continent’s electricity shortage. He co-founded Bushveld Energy to provide large-scale energy storage solutions across the African continent. The company develops energy storage projects and is also localising manufacturing of vanadium redox flow batteries in South Africa. Mikhail also serves as the Chairman of the South African Energy Storage Association (SAESA) and chairs the Energy Storage Committee for Vanitec, the global organisation of vanadium producers.

Kgashane Mohale is Senior Industry Specialist: Industrial Development leading in Innovation and Strategy at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd (IDC). He has experience in leadership, strategy design and execution, manufacturing and production management, business improvement, consulting, entrepreneurship, business development, commercial and engineering from various organisations. He currently develops strategies and investment products for IDC to develop and invest in new or priority sectors/value chains like the battery value chain – from mining through chemical and components, cell manufacturing and application and renewable energy localisation, focusing on wind and solar.

Ian de Vries is both CEO and CTO at Balancell, a technology startup. He leads on technology, hardware and software development, battery electromechanical integration, cell manufacturer selection, battery design, overall IoT software system architecture, including data flow, data structures, and battery data analysis. He has expertise in cell chemistry, battery management algorithms, product design to meet the highest safety standards and insights into the next generation needed for IoT software platform system architecture, data structures, and predictive algorithms.

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