• 4 minutes Trump will meet with executives in the energy industry to discuss the impact of COVID-19
  • 8 minutes Charts of COVID-19 Fatality Rate by Age and Sex
  • 11 minutes Why Trump Is Right to Re-Open the Economy
  • 13 minutes Its going to be an oil bloodbath
  • 11 mins While China was covering up Covid-19 it went on an international buying spree for ventilators and masks. From Jan 7th until the end of February China bought 2.2 Billion masks !
  • 25 mins Ten days ago Trump sent New York Hydroxychloroquine. Being administered to infected. Covid deaths dropped last few days. Fewer on ventilators. Hydroxychloroquine "Cause and Effect" ?
  • 4 hours US Shale Resilience: Oil Industry Experts Say Shale Will Rise Again
  • 5 hours China Takes Axe To Alternative Energy Funding, Slashing Subsidies For Solar And Wind
  • 2 hours Real Death Toll In CCP Virus May Be 12X Official Toll
  • 3 hours Marine based energy generation
  • 7 hours Today 127 new cases in US, 99 in China, 778 in Italy
  • 2 hours What If ‘We’d Adopted A More Conventional Response To This Epidemic?’
  • 3 hours How to Create a Pandemic
  • 4 hours Apple to Bypass Internet and Beam Directly to Phones
  • 10 hours Which producers will shut in first?
  • 19 hours TRUMP pushing Hydroxychloroquine + Zpak therapy forward despite FDA conservative approach. As he reasons, "What have we got to lose ?"
MINING.com

MINING.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

More Info

Premium Content

The New Natural Resources Fueling The Green Revolution

(Click to enlarge)

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Records for renewable energy consumption were smashed around the world in 2017.

Looking at national and state grids, progress has been extremely impressive. In Costa Rica, for example, renewable energy supplied five million people with all of their electricity needs for a stretch of 300 consecutive days. Meanwhile, the U.K. broke 13 green energy records in 2017 alone, and California’s largest grid operator announced it got 67.2 percent of its energy from renewables (excluding hydro) on May 13, 2017.

The corporate front is also looking promising, and Google has led the way by buying 536 MW of wind power to offset 100 percent of the company’s electricity usage. This makes the tech giant the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable energy on the planet.

But while these examples are plentiful, this progress is only the tip of the iceberg – and green energy still represents a small but rapidly growing segment. For a full green shift to occur, we’ll need to 10x what we’re currently sourcing from renewables.

To do this, we will need to procure massive amounts of natural resources – they just won’t be the fossil fuels that we’re used to.

Green metals required

Today’s infographic comes from Cambridge House as a part of the lead-up to their flagship conference, the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018. Related: The Biggest Loser Of The OPEC Deal

A major theme of the conference is sustainable energy – and the math indeed makes it clear that to fully transition to a green economy, we’ll need vast amounts of metals like copper, silicon, aluminum, lithium, cobalt, rare earths, and silver.

These metals and minerals are needed to generate, store, and distribute green energy. Without them, the reality is that technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, lithium-ion batteries, nuclear reactors, and electric vehicles are simply not possible.

First principles

How do you get a Tesla to drive over 300 miles (480 km) on just one charge?

Here’s what you need: a lightweight body, a powerful electric motor, a cutting-edge battery that can store energy efficiently, and a lot of engineering prowess.

Putting the engineering aside, all of these things need special metals to work. For the lightweight body, aluminum is being substituted in for steel. For the electric motor, Tesla is using AC induction motors (Model S and X) that require large amounts of copper and aluminum. Meanwhile, Chevy Bolts and soon Tesla will use permanent magnet motors (in the Model 3) that use rare earths like neodymium, dysprosium, and praseodymium.

The batteries, as we’ve shown in our five-part Battery Series, are a whole other supply chain challenge. The lithium-ion batteries used in EVs need lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and many other metals or minerals to function. Each Tesla battery, by the way, weighs about 1,200 lbs (540 kg) and makes up 25 percent the total mass of the car. Related: Rig Count Shoots Up As Oil Nears $70

While EVs are a topic we’ve studied in depth, the same principles apply for solar panels, wind turbines, nuclear reactors, grid-scale energy storage solutions, or anything else we need to secure a sustainable future. Solar panels need silicon and silver, while wind turbines need rare earths, steel, and aluminum.

Even nuclear, which is the safest energy type by deaths per TWh and generates barely any emissions, needs uranium in order to generate power.

The pace of progress

The green revolution is happening at a breakneck speed – and new records will continue to be set each year.

Over $200 billion was invested into renewables in 2016, and more net renewable capacity was added than coal and gas put together:

Power Type

Net Global Capacity Added (2016)

Renewable (excl. large hydro)

138 GW

Coal

54 GW

Gas

37 GW

Large hydro

15 GW

Nuclear

10 GW

Other flexible capacity

5 GW

The numbers suggest that this is the only start of the green revolution.

However, to fully work our way off of fossil fuels, we will need to procure large amounts of the metals that make sustainable energy possible.

By Mining.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage






Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News