Looming mismatch between ‘climate ambitions’ and availability of critical minerals as world pursues net zero goals 

Posted: May 5, 2021 by oldbrew in data, Emissions, Energy, net zero

Cobalt mining in DR Congo [image credit: BBC]

Much more mining needed obviously, but that’s an energy-intensive industry in its own right. Awkward for carbophobes – how do they avoid chasing their own tails by creating more of the supposed problem they claim to be addressing?
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Supplies of critical minerals essential for key clean energy technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbines need to pick up sharply over the coming decades to meet the world’s climate goals, creating potential energy security hazards that governments must act now to address, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.
. . .
“Today, the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realising those ambitions,” said the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.

“The challenges are not insurmountable, but governments must give clear signals about how they plan to turn their climate pledges into action. By acting now and acting together, they can significantly reduce the risks of price volatility and supply disruptions.”

“Left unaddressed, these potential vulnerabilities could make global progress towards a clean energy future slower and more costly – and therefore hamper international efforts to tackle climate change,” Dr Birol said. “This is what energy security looks like in the 21st century, and the IEA is fully committed to helping governments ensure that these hazards don’t derail the global drive to accelerate energy transitions.”

The special report, part of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook series, underscores that the mineral requirements of an energy system powered by clean energy technologies differ profoundly from one that runs on fossil fuels.

A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a similarly sized gas-fired power plant.

Demand outlooks and supply vulnerabilities vary widely by mineral, but the energy sector’s overall needs for critical minerals could increase by as much as six times by 2040, depending on how rapidly governments act to reduce emissions.

Not only is this a massive increase in absolute terms, but as the costs of technologies fall, mineral inputs will account for an increasingly important part of the value of key components, making their overall costs more vulnerable to potential mineral price swings.

The commercial importance of these minerals also grow rapidly: today’s revenue from coal production is ten times larger than from energy transition minerals. However, in climate-driven scenarios, these positions are reversed well before 2040.

Full article here.

  1. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Much more mining needed obviously, but that’s an energy-intensive industry in its own right. Awkward for carbophobes – how do they avoid chasing their own tails by creating more of the supposed problem they claim to be addressing?”

    It’s no wonder that we don’t see the once-fashionable hashtag #KeepItInTheGround trending, anymore.

    Killing the earth to ‘save it’.

    The wilful naivety of eco-crusaders, possibly the most painful part of it all to bear.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Lithium’s water problem
    27 Jan 2021

    Lithium mining has become a boom industry as more and more of the metal is needed in electric car batteries. Yet despite being lauded as key material for a renewables revolution, it too has a dark side. Blamed for speeding up desertification around the salt lakes of Latin America’s ‘lithium triangle’, the evaporation techniques used in mining lithium are causing concern. So does lithium have a water problem, and what is being done? We report.
    . . .
    The San Cristóbal Mine in Bolivia, said to use 50,000 litres of water per day, has even been labeled an ‘environmental and social disaster’.


  3. oldbrew says:

  4. Gamecock says:

    The theory being that material shortages will arise BEFORE THE WHOLE ECONOMY COLLAPSES.

    You are sofa king dead.

  5. tom0mason says:

    Yep all part of the global elites’ mantra of ‘Build Back Better’ that the Malthusian idiot Bozo Johnson (and his government) has signed-up for.

    ‘Build back better’ will mean ‘mine more minerals’ while mandating ‘design-in disordered deficiencies’ through processes using ‘ruined rational resolve’, ensuring that ‘make more mediocre’ is the engineered philosophy for many generations to come. All this with ubiquitous Social Monitoring And Recording Technology keeping the social order.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Lithium crunch in 2027?

    Recently, Rystad Energy projected a “serious lithium supply deficit” in 2027 as mining capacity lags behind the EV boom.
    . . .
    To drastically scale capacity, producers will also need to exploit the world’s “marginal” resources, which are costlier and more energy-intensive to develop than conventional counterparts.

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    EV batteries will cost even more? What intensive energy are they referring to, if not fuels?
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    Chinese stranglehold on rare earths forces UK into secret talks with allies
    2 May 2021

    Britain is grappling to secure supplies of the minerals, used in motors of electric cars and in wind turbines, to power green revolution


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