IEA: The turn to clean energy boosts demand for critical metals

clean energy

The turn to clean energy is boosting demand for critical metals, says a new report International Energy Agency (IEA). The market for cobalt, nickel, lithium and copper, which are essential for producing electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar cells and other critical technologies for energy transformation, has doubled in the last five years.

According to the report, investment in development in the critical minerals sector will increase by 30 percent in 2022, following growth of 20 percent in 2021. Among minerals, lithium saw the most significant increase in investment, up 50 percent, followed by copper and nickel. According to the IEA, the market for critical minerals was $320 billion (CZK 6.9 trillion) last year and is expected to continue to grow, putting it increasingly at the heart of the global mining industry.

“At this crucial stage of the global transition to clean energy, we are encouraged by the rapid growth of the market for critical minerals that are vital to achieving global energy and climate goals,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “However, major challenges remain. Much more needs to be done to make critical mineral supply chains safe and sustainable,” he added.

If all the critical minerals projects planned around the world were implemented, IEA analysis suggests that supplies could be sufficient to meet national climate commitments announced by governments. However, the risk of project delays and bottlenecks would remain. Moreover, in a scenario that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees, more projects would be needed by 2030.

The IEA criticises the lack of competition in the market – many announcements of new projects come from companies that already dominate the market. As of 2019, the top three producers of critical minerals have either stayed flat or continued to increase their share, particularly for nickel and cobalt.

Source: CTK


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