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[Other] Key Driving Force of the Korean New Deal, Secondary Battery
Korea has acquired global competitiveness in the secondary battery field by producing small lithium-ion battery, mainly used for mobile products since the 2000s. The quality of its products has been recognized in the global market, with the longest experience in the production of secondary battery, only behind Japan. Korea has production technologies for various types including cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch type secondary batteries. In addition, the country is leading the technologies for high-nickel lithium ion secondary batteries, such as NCM and NCA, which are mainly used for electric vehicles. Also, it has competitive edge in packaging and formation equipment sector, actively exporting to China and Europe, among others. .

With the global trend of digital transformation and increasing investment in environment-friendly sectors, the secondary battery industry is at the stage of lift-off. As the markets for IT devices and electric vehicles, which are main consumers of secondary battery, continue to expand, and as countries around the world implement energy transition for carbon neutral 2050, demand for ESS is expected to grow rapidly. As a result, the global secondary battery market is likely to grow 7.6 times from USD 46.1 billion in 2020 to USD 351.7 billion in 2030. In response, Korea continues to make investments and develop next-generation batteries to maintain global competitiveness in the fields of production and materials of secondary battery.

Next-generation growth engine of Korean economy

The domestic production of Korea’s secondary battery industry reached KRW 22.3 trillion in 2019, up 1.7 times from 2017. During the same period, domestic secondary battery companies actively made investments to expand facilities at home and abroad. Also, an increasing number of companies entered the materials, parts, and equipment sector of secondary battery, driving the growth of the secondary battery industry. Exports have also grown consistently, recording USD 7.5 billion in 2020, 1.3 times up from a year earlier despite the impact of COVID-19, demonstrating the power of Korea’s secondary battery industry.

The strength of Korea’s secondary battery industry lies in the fact that it has a stable industrial ecosystem based on long-established experience in production. In the manufacturing field, three big companies including LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and SK Innovation have secured global competitiveness. In the materials field, EcpPro BM, POSCO Chemical, L&F and others possess R&D capabilities and production facilities. Also, there are numerous equipment companies with global competitiveness, such as WONIK PNE and CIS. Building on such strengths, Korea’s secondary battery industry is well positioned to lead the global market and establish itself as the growth engine for the next-generation economy.

No.1 Korea in 2030 next-generation secondary battery

The Korean government announced the ‘2030 K-Battery Development Strategy’ in July 2021, confirming support measures for the domestic secondary battery industry, which is starting up the global competition. Main strategies include: large-scale R&D in private-public partnership; establishing a global leading base; and creating the public/private consumption market. In detail, the government plans to invest more than KRW 40.6 trillion by 2030 through public-private cooperation, in order to secure technological competitiveness in the current and next-generation secondary battery fields, build a stable supply chain, and support the creation of new markets. Besides, it also plans to set up a KRW 80 billion R&D innovation fund in private-public partnership with the aim to spur R&D by SMEs and startups to pursue continued growth of the domestic secondary battery industrial ecosystem. .
Main Contents of the ‘2030 K-Battery Development Strategy’
Main Contents of the ‘2030 K-Battery Development Strategy’
Strategy Detailed Tasks Major Contents Note

Large-scale R&D through private-public partnership

Secure next-generation secondary battery technologies early on

Large-scale R&D to secure super-gap technological prowess

(2030) KRW 40.6 trillion private investment, Expand support to preoccupy technologies through large-scale government R&D preliminary feasibility study, etc.

Secure parts, materials, equipment element technologies for next-generation secondary battery

Advance development of next-generation parts, materials, and equipment technologies, Develop next ‘next generation’ original technologies, Establish ‘next-generation battery park’

Secure super-gap technological competitiveness in lithium ion battery

Advance performance, stability, and production of current lithium-ion secondary battery

Build a global leading base

Build a stable secondary battery supply chain

Secure raw materials and bolster materials production capacity
Bolster a system to secure recycled materials and develop technologies/processes

Support private companies to participate in mine development projects, Explore joint R&D in raw materials, basic materials technologies

Foster key companies in materials, parts, and equipment

Create materials, parts, equipment specialized complex as a key growth base, Expand tax benefits by designating as national strategic technology, Enhance financial support, i.e., creating K-battery preferential support program

Support R&D of SMEs and startups by setting up joint R&D innovation fund worth KRW 80 billion in private-public partnership

Foster specialized talents in secondary battery

Foster talent customized to demand of the industry
Build a platform to foster workforce (2023~)

Foster 1,100 + α talents annually

Prepare institutional foundation in response to global trends

Bolster institutional basis, such as efficient management of national key technologies, expansion of secondary battery specifications, preparation of standards for life-cycle carbon emissions, Establish the statistical system for the secondary battery industry

Create public/private demand market

Revitalize the after-use secondary battery market

Prepare an extracting system, Support commercialization

Establish bases for extraction center in 4 areas across the country (Siheung, Daegu, Jeongeup, Hongseong)
Set up the after-use secondary battery industrialization center (Jeju, Naju, Ulsan, Pohang)

Expand demand base for secondary battery

Expand demand base utilizing the public market, e.g., public ESS, public ships, Support expansion of the markets to which secondary battery can be applied, such as airlines, ships, machines, and trains

(2021-2025) Create public ESS market in scale of 2.2GWh
(~2030) Public ships (in total 388 ships) conversion to eco-friendly ships such as electric or hybrid ships
Support KRW 12-20 million subsidy per electric digger

Create environment for secondary battery new services

Discover and foster secondary battery-related service industries, e.g., a new industry utilizing secondary battery data, a secondary battery renting and exchanging service

Establish ‘EV parts data platform’
Go ahead with a secondary battery renting pilot project (~2022))

*Source: Jointly by ministries concerned (July 2021), ‘2030 K-Battery Development Strategy’

By Minji Kim (
Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET)

< The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of KOTRA.>

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