YCW LN: The global battery race: What lessons can the UK learn from China?

with Henry Sanderson (Author of Volt Rush and Executive Editor at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence), Dr Michal Meidan (Head of China Energy Research at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies), Kevin Shang (Senior Research Analyst for Global Energy Storage at Wood Mackenzie) and George Heppel (Head of Commercial and Market Analysis for Base and Battery Metals at BASF)

Date: Thursday 23 November 2023
Arrival time: 6:00pm / Start time: 6:15pm
Venue: Nash Lecture Theatre, King’s College London Strand Campus, Strand, WC2R 2LS United Kingdom
RSVP required: RSVP here
• ID is required for sign-in on arrival

In the last decade, China has risen to become the global leader in one of the world’s most important technologies for our future economy: batteries. The technology forms an essential component of the world’s ability to transition to clean energy and electric mobility. YCW invites you to a discussion on why batteries are an important part of the green transition, how China came to dominate in this space, and how we can hope collaboration between the UK and China will unfold when it comes to the clean energy transition.

China dominates the battery industry on several fronts: it supplies nearly half of Europe’s demand for critical raw materials, it manufactures almost 80% of the world’s batteries and it has been a leading innovator to help drive down battery costs.

However, closer to home, the last year has seen many of the UK’s homegrown battery industry struggling to find its footing. The battery material manufacturer Johnson Matthey closed its manufacturing division and early stage manufacturers such as Britishvolt have shut their doors. In summer, the UK’s biggest automotive company Jaguar Land Rover announced they are building a battery manufacturing plant in Somerset, with £500 million of government backing, perhaps signalling that success for the UK battery industry is on the horizon.

YCW is delighted to dive into the details behind how this battery race is playing out with some of the world’s best known experts on the topic.

RSVP here


Henry Sanderson

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Henry Sanderson is author of Volt Rush and Executive Editor at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

Henry Sanderson is an author and journalist focusing on clean energy. He is the author of Volt Rush, the Winners and Losers in the Race to Go Green, which was chosen as a book of the week by the Observer, and one of the best science and environment books of 2022 by The Times. A former journalist for the Financial Times and Bloomberg, he is currently the executive editor of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on the battery supply chain.

Dr Michal Meidan

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Michal is Head of China Energy Research at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Before joining OIES in July 2019, she headed cross-commodity China research at Energy Aspects. Prior to that, she headed China Matters, an independent research consultancy providing analysis on the politics of energy in China. Michal also held senior analytical roles at Eurasia Group in New York and London, and at Asia Centre-Sciences Po, Paris. She taught undergraduate courses on China’s political economy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has authored numerous academic articles. Michal also regularly provides comments for a wide variety of media outlets and is featured as a speaker at industry conferences.

Kevin Shang

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Kevin is Senior Research Analyst for Global Energy Storage at Wood Mackenzie.

Kevin leads research and analysis on energy storage supply chain and technology. Before that, he co-founded and led Roskill’s cathode and precursor market research. Kevin leverages his background in materials science research and global competence to deliver high-quality research and analysis as well as key insights into technology, policy and markets for batteries and energy storage. His research and analysis are frequently featured in multiple press outlets, including Financial Times and Bloomberg.

Kevin is a regular speaker at international conferences on battery technology and supply chains. He sits on the advisory board of the Battery Show North America. Before joining Roskill, Kevin worked at the BBC and Reuters TV, reporting on China-related matters and energy markets for the broadcaster’s international audience in both Chinese and English.Kevin obtained his PhD from the Department of Materials, University of Manchester. He tweets at @KevinGShang.

George Heppel

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George is Head of Commercial and Market Analysis for Base and Battery Metals at BASF.

George works within BASF’s battery metals procurement division, running the company’s internal battery metal market analysis as well as originating and evaluating investment and offtake opportunities. He is a metals and mining professional with 10 years of experience in commodities, 7 years of which have been spent in base and battery metals. Over this time, he has taken a range of different roles in the markets over the years including in trading, market analysis, consulting, procurement and investment strategy.

Moderated by: Sarah Montgomery

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Sarah is Co-Head at YCW and CEO at Infyos.

Sarah Montgomery is the Co-Head at Young China Watchers London. During the day, she is CEO and Co-founder of Infyos, a digital platform that helps automotive and battery players manage and improve their company and supply chain sustainability. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance and IRMA’s Working Group on Circular Economy. Sarah has been recognised as a one of the world’s most impactful leaders on Forbes 30 Under 30 and has been featured in publications including Financial Times, Sifted and Business Insider. Sarah speaks Chinese and has previously built the China expansion at the supply chain technology scale-up Everledger backed by Tencent.

London – The global battery race: What lessons can the UK learn from China? (Thu, 23 Nov)
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