Green economy’s higher metal intensity to cause boom in metal demand

Business Materials 5 October 2022 16:46 (UTC +04:00)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 5. The higher metal intensity of the green economy will result in a boom in demand for metals, Trend reports with reference to Fitch Ratings.

The latest report from Fitch reveals that growth rate will vary by material and depend on technologies and environmental policies.

“We anticipate that the demand for metals used to generate low-emissions energy will peak by the 2040s, when the bulk of green infrastructure will have been built. A transition to net zero emissions by 2050 would require six times more mineral inputs than today, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The specific growth trajectory of each metal is different and will be determined by several factors. Uncertainty remains about specific technologies in a fossil-free economy. There is a range of NMC (containing combination of lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese oxide) and LFP (lithium, iron, phosphate) battery types and fuel cells technologies. The choice of technology will result in different metal consumption rates. For instance, the IEA estimates that, depending on the battery chemistry, demand for cobalt might be 6x to 30x higher than today by 2040,” the report says.

Fitch experts note that the green technologies chosen will have to be low cost and highly efficient.

“Metals with higher prices and low availability will likely be substituted, a particular risk for copper, which can be replaced by aluminium in some cabling applications. The commercial application of hydrogen, which is expected to be at the cornerstone of decarbonisation in energy generation and industrial production, is also uncertain. The carbon footprint will also be considered, as the value chain from extraction to refining should be clean. This is a challenge for aluminium, which has the higher CO2 emissions from production compared to the alternatives.”


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