Metals Demand From Energy Transition May Top Current Global Supply

Metals Demand From Energy Transition

Excerpt from blogs.imf.org

The clean energy transition needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change could unleash unprecedented metals demand in coming decades, requiring as much as 3 billion tons.

A typical electric vehicle battery pack, for example, needs around 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of lithium, 35 kilograms of nickel, 20 kilograms of manganese and 14 kilograms of cobalt, while charging stations require substantial amounts of copper. For green power, solar panels use large quantities of copper, silicon, silver and zinc, while wind turbines require iron ore, copper, and aluminum.

Such needs could send metal demand and prices surging for many years, as we outlined in a recent blog based on our research for the October World Economic Outlook and a new IMF staff paper.

Metal prices have already seen large increases as economies re-opened, highlighting a critical need to analyze what could constrain production and delay supply responses. Specifically, we assess whether there are enough mineral and metal deposits to satisfy needs for low-carbon technologies and how to best address factors that could restrain mining investment and metals supplies.