Critical Minerals Demand Surges: How to Avoid a Crisis

Investing in critical minerals improves our chances of meeting global climate goals. It is the International Energy Agency (IEA) that has published the first report on Critical Minerals Outlook, in which every scenario predicts a rapid increase in demand.  Critical minerals play a key role in green technologies such as building wind turbines, electric vehicles and solar panels. The demand for these technologies is increasing worldwide, and the  global  demand for batteries is one of the main drivers of this growth. 

According to the IEA, lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite are important for battery performance, longevity and energy density. Ensuring a strong supply supports the world’s climate goals and helps achieve green goals. In fact, without them, our primary strategy for decarbonizing energy systems is likely to fail. Ensuring efficient energy transfer.


Lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite are crucial for the global battery demand. Image: IEA

According to the World Economic Forum’s report Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2023, the energy transition requires secure, abundant and affordable access to critical minerals. Ensuring this  also helps create transition resilience. Additionally, the IEA report found significant spending growth. Investments in the development of critical mineral resources increased by 30% in 2022, compared to 20%  in 2021. Among  minerals, lithium saw the strongest investment growth (with a 50% jump), followed by copper and nickel. 

 However, more needs to be done to ensure we are fit for the future. “If all proposed critical mineral projects come to fruition, the 2030 supply  could be sufficient to support announced climate pledges,” the report said. “However, project delays and other issues may cause supply constraints.” 

 And more projects are needed to meet the 1.5 degree warming target. The IEA – which has also launched a new online data tool to explore the issue – is holding its first  international summit on critical minerals and their role in the clean energy transition in Paris on 28 September. Securing the supply chain of critical minerals  

 The report highlighted how many governments have focused on the issue. Its policy monitoring program identifies approximately 200 policies and regulations from around the world that aim to ensure adequate and sustainable mineral resources. 

These include the European Union’s Critical Commodities Act (CRM), the US Deflation Act, Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy and Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy.  Some contain import and export restrictions, he said, and global export restrictions on critical raw materials have increased fivefold  since 2009. Private company spending on critical minerals  has also increased, with companies specializing in lithium development recording a 50% increase. in consumption. “We are encouraged by the rapid growth of the  critical minerals market, which is essential to achieving the global energy and climate goals,” said IEA  Director General Fatih Birol. – Despite this, great challenges remain. Much more needs to be done to ensure the safety and sustainability of supply chains for critical minerals.

Source: WEF

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