The EC’s new series of proposed targets and reforms, contained in its Green Deal Industrial Plan, aim to ensure that at least 40% of the EU’s low-carbon technologies will be made within its borders by 2030. The eight “strategic net-zero technologies” are: Solar (power and thermal); Onshore and offshore wind; Batteries and energy storage; Heat pumps and geothermal; Electrolysers and fuel cells; Sustainable biogas/biomethane; CCS; Grid … [Read more...]
Critical Minerals: will there be enough to meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target?
If the production and processing of critical minerals cannot keep up with the accelerating adoption of batteries, EVs, wind turbines and solar PV technologies, the pace and success of the global energy system transformation will be put at risk. In this explainer, Lilly Yejin Lee and James Glynn at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University address the big questions, drawing on the data underlying the IEA’s “The Role of Critical … [Read more...]
Critical minerals: price spikes are affecting Wind, Solar, Batteries, EVs
A wide range of critical minerals are needed for the energy transition. Tae-Yoon Kim at the IEA summarises the reasons why we should expect this to be a year of price spikes due in the main to the Russia-Ukraine war and post-lockdown supply chain bottlenecks. So severe is the problem that the long record of declining costs in clean energy technologies like solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles is being reversed. Although these crises will … [Read more...]
The metals sector should back global carbon taxes. It’ll be good for business
Most of the metals mining sector has been opposing carbon taxes. This is a foolish mistake that works against their interests, argue Sally Innis, Benjamin Cox, John Steen and Nadja Kunz at the University of British Columbia. The tax on the carbon emissions from mining and producing most metals (with only aluminium and steel being outliers) are small compared to the price of the metal, so a carbon tax will add little to the selling price. But the … [Read more...]
Is China really eyeing Afghanistan’s mineral resources?
Press reports of China hoping to strike deals with the Taliban to secure mineral rights in Afghanistan are very likely to be an exaggeration, explains Lukas Trakimavičius. It’s true that China wants minerals essential to the clean energy transition and other technologies. It’s also true that Afghanistan has an abundance (copper, cobalt, lithium, rare earths, etc.), and they’re worth something of the order of $1tn. But it can take a decade to get … [Read more...]
Essential energy transition metals: “Eco-friendly” trawling of ocean floor could replace land mining
The availability of metals for raw materials has a make-or-break impact on the future of EVs, wind turbines and many other energy sector applications. The world needs 3bn EVs and 10tn kWh/yr more clean energy by 2040 to have any chance of achieving our climate goals. We need so much more that recycling what we already have won’t make a noticeable difference. Mining on land already has very serious negative environmental and social consequences. … [Read more...]
Create new laws to help bring Battery manufacturing to Europe
Europe should start leading battery manufacturing instead of leaving it to China, argue Alex Keynes and Cecilia Mattea at Transport & Environment. With laws spreading across the continent to make electric vehicles compulsory for new car purchases, this is a growing and strategic market. But a firm grip on battery manufacture emissions, as well as ethical sourcing and recycling, has to be part of the plan. The authors give a template of what … [Read more...]
Clean Energy threatened by lockdown of critical minerals supply
Clean energy technologies depend on the reliable and growing supply of critical minerals and metals, far more so than the old fossil fuel world. An EV uses five times the quantity needed by a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires eight times that of a gas-fired plant of the same capacity. Hence, electric transport and grid storage are now the largest consumers of lithium and cobalt. Examples of rising consumption abound for other … [Read more...]
Will Toyota’s new battery design solve the looming shortage of vital metals for renewables?
We all know the important part played by lithium in battery manufacture. But there is a longer list of metals - including copper, cobalt and neodymium – that must ramp up supply for the continued rapid growth of EVs, solar, wind and other renewables technologies. EVs alone will increase the consumption of copper nine-fold by 2027. Cobalt prices already doubled in 2017. Neodymium use will rise by 700% in the next few decades to satisfy our need … [Read more...]