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 materials like copper and nickel. But the Covid lockdown has hit investment in maintaining and expanding supply, creating an obstacle to a clean energy rebound as well as any ambitious roll outs of Green stimuli. This comes on top of the existing problem with the geographical concentration of supply and processing and the geopolitical hazards that go with it.Tae-Yoon Kim and Milosz Karpinski at the IEA run through the challenges, breaking it down by mineral/metal, technology and nation. They end with their recommendations to governments and companies to promote security of supply. Such is its importance that the IEA has decided to step up its analysis of the security of mineral supplies to add to its traditional mandates covering oil, gas and electricity security."
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