May 25, 2023: South Korea and the EU have agreed to work together on battery development and raw materials supply under a ‘green partnership’ launched on May 22.
Energy Storage Journal reported on April that Korea was launching a multibillion dollar program to defend and expand its battery industry, amid fears lucrative US tax breaks and incentives are tipping the global battery trade balance stateside.
The green partnership was agreed at a meeting in Seoul, as talks began to also involve Korea in the EU’s prestigious Horizon Europe R&D program to develop clean energy technologies.
The move came after Korea and Canada signed a memorandum of understanding on May 17 to cooperate in critical minerals supply for the clean energy sector.
A day later, Korean trade, industry and energy vice minister Jang Young-jin held talks with his Malaysian counterpart, Liew Chin Tong, to discuss aid for Korean firms that invest in batteries and recycling in Malaysia.
Korea said Malaysia is rich in natural resources and an important player in the “global value chain” in sectors such as energy and minerals.
In March, EU leaders and battery industry chiefs agreed to expand funding to support gigafactory projects and speed-up permitting processes, amid fears that investors are being lured away from Europe by lucrative tax breaks and incentives in the US and Asia.