Wednesday 12 June 2024
 
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PATHWAY TO NET-ZERO EMISSION

Energy transition minerals market to hit $770bn by 2040: IEA

DUBAI, 25 days ago

The combined market size of key energy transition minerals is set to more than double to a whopping $770 billion by 2040 in a pathway to net zero emissions by mid-century, said International Energy Agency (IEA) in its 'Global Critical Minerals Outlook 2024.'
 
The Outlook 2024, published today (May 18), updates the IEA’s inaugural review of the market last year while also offering new medium- and long-term outlooks for the supply and demand of important energy transition minerals, such as lithium, copper, nickel, cobalt, graphite and rare earth elements.
 
The new report finds that major additional investments are still needed to meet the world’s energy and climate objectives.
 
Following two years of dramatic increases, the prices of critical minerals fell sharply in 2023, returning to levels last seen before the pandemic. 
 
Materials used to make batteries saw particularly significant decreases, with the price of lithium dropping by 75% and the prices of cobalt, nickel and graphite falling by between 30% and 45% – helping drive battery prices 14% lower. 
 
With demand growth remaining robust, these declines were mostly driven by a strong increase in global supply – helping to offset the steep price rises in 2021 and 2022.
 
The IEA report finds that while lower prices for critical minerals in the past year have been good news for consumers and affordability, they have also provided a headwind for new investment. 
 
In 2023, investment in critical minerals mining grew by 10 percent and exploration spending rose by 15% – still healthy, but slower than in 2022.
 
Detailed project-by-project analysis suggests that announced projects are sufficient to meet only 70 percent of copper and 50 percent of lithium requirements in 2035 in a scenario in which countries worldwide meet their national climate goals. 
 
Markets for other minerals look more balanced – if projects come through as scheduled. However, announced projects do not change the high geographical concentration of supply, and China is projected to retain a very strong position in the refining and processing sector.
 
"Secure and sustainable access to critical minerals is essential for smooth and affordable clean energy transitions," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
 
"The world’s appetite for technologies such as solar panels, electric cars and batteries is growing fast – but we cannot satisfy it without reliable and expanding supplies of critical minerals," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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