Study quantifies metal supplies needed to reach EU’s climate neutrality goal

Independent KU Leuven university study, commissioned by EU industry, echoes IEA warning of severe global competition for several metals needed in Europe’s energy transition away from fossil fuelsReports and Proceedings

KU LEUVEN / EUROMETAUX

Cover of the KU Leuven report: Metals for Clean Energy: Pathways to solving Europe’s raw materials challenge
IMAGE: MEETING THE EUROPEAN UNION’S GREEN DEAL GOAL OF CLIMATE NEUTRALITY BY 2050 WILL REQUIRE 35 TIMES MORE LITHIUM AND 7 TO 26 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF INCREASINGLY SCARCE RARE EARTH METALS COMPARED TO EUROPE’S LIMITED USE TODAY, ACCORDING TO THIS STUDY FROM BELGIAN UNIVERSITY KU LEUVEN. view more CREDIT: KU LEUVEN

Meeting the European Union’s Green Deal goal of climate neutrality by 2050 will require 35 times more lithium and 7 to 26 times the amount of increasingly scarce rare earth metals compared to Europe’s limited use today, according to a study from Belgian university KU Leuven.

The energy transition will also require far greater annual supplies of aluminium (equivalent to 30% of what Europe already uses today), copper (35%), silicon (45%), nickel (100%), and cobalt (330%), all essential to Europe’s plans for producing the electric vehicles and batteries, renewable wind, solar and hydrogen energy technologies, and the grid infrastructure needed to achieve climate neutrality. 

The good news: By 2050, 40 to 75% of Europe’s clean energy metal needs could be met through local recycling if Europe invests heavily now and fixes bottlenecks, says KU Leuven’s “Metals for Clean Energy” study, commissioned by Eurometaux, Europe’s association of metal producers. 

But Europe faces critical shortfalls in the next 15 years without more mined and refined metals supplying the start of its clean energy system. Progressive steps will be needed to develop a long-term Circular Economy, which avoids a repeat of Europe’s current fossil fuel dependency. 

On March 8, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for European independence from Russian oil, coal and gas, saying “we simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us. We need to act now to… accelerate the clean energy transition. The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system.”

The independent KU Leuven study is the first to offer EU-specific numbers related to the International Energy Agency’s warning in 2021 of looming supply challenges for the enabling metals needed to help end fossil fuels.

The study says that by 2050, Europe’s  plans for producing clean energy technologies will require annually: 

  • 4.5 million tonnes of aluminium (an increase of 33% compared to today’s use)
  • 1.5 million tonnes of copper (35%) 
  • 800,000 tonnes of lithium (3,500%)
  • 400,000 tonnes of nickel (100%)
  • 300,000 tonnes of zinc (10-15%)
  • 200,000 tonnes of silicon (45%)
  • 60,000 tonnes of cobalt (330%)
  • and 3,000 tonnes of the rare earths metals neodymium, dysprosium and praseodymium (700-2,600%)

“Although the EU has committed to accelerate its energy transition and produce a great deal of its clean energy technologies domestically, it remains import dependent for much of the metal needed” the study says. “And there is growing concern about the security of supply.”

Supply risks

According to the study, Europe could face problems around 2030 from global supply shortages for five metals especially: lithium, cobalt, nickel, rare earths, and copper. EU primary metals demand will peak around 2040; thereafter, increased recycling will help the bloc towards greater self-sufficiency, assuming major investments are made in recycling infrastructure and legislative bottlenecks are addressed.

Liesbet Gregoir, lead author at KU Leuven, commented: “Europe needs to decide urgently how it will bridge its looming supply gap for primary metals. Without a decisive strategy, it risks new dependencies on unsustainable suppliers”. 

Coal-powered Chinese and Indonesian metal production will dominate global refining capacity growth for battery metals and rare earths. Europe also relies on Russia for its current supply of aluminium, nickel and copper. 

The study recommends that Europe link with proven responsible suppliers managing their environmental and social risks, questioning why the bloc has not yet followed other global powers like China in investing into external mines to drive ESG standards directly. 

Local challenge  

“A paradigm shift is needed if Europe wants to develop new local supply sources with high environmental and social protections. Today we don’t see the community buy-in or the business conditions for the continent to build its own strong supply chains. The window is narrowing; projects really need to be taken forward in the next two years to be ready by 2030”. 

The study says there is theoretical potential for new domestic mines to cover between 5% and 55% of Europe’s 2030 needs, with largest project pipelines for lithium and rare earths. But most announced projects have an uncertain future despite Europe’s comparatively high environmental standards, struggling with local community opposition and permit challenges, or relying on untested processes. 

Europe would also need to open new refineries to transform mined ores and secondary raw materials into metals or chemicals. Europe’s energy crisis makes new refining investment challenging and skyrocketing power prices have already caused the temporary closure of nearly half the continent’s existing refining capacity for aluminium and zinc, while production has increased in other parts of the world. 

Global concerns 

Coal-powered Chinese and Indonesian metal production is projected to dominate global refining capacity growth for battery metals and rare earths in the next decade. In the spotlight after the Ukraine invasion, Europe also relies on Russia for much of its imported supply of aluminium, nickel and copper. 

The study recommends that Europe links with proven responsible suppliers managing their environmental and social risks, also questioning whether the bloc should support investments into external mines to drive ESG standards directly.

The metals in scope today contribute around 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Metals and mining operations must manage their local biodiversity impacts, waste, and local pollution potential, while securing human rights.

Recycling  

The study finds that by 2050, locally recycled metals could produce three quarters of Europe-made battery cathodes, all its plans for permanent magnets production, and significant volumes of aluminium and copper. 

“Recycling is Europe’s best chance to improve its long-term self-sufficiency. It’s a step-up that our clean energy system will be based on permanent metals which can be recycled indefinitely, compared with today’s constant burning of fossil fuels”. The bloc, however, “must act strongly now to raise recycling rates, invest in the necessary infrastructure, and overcome key economic bottlenecks.”

The study notes that metals recycling, on average, saves between 35% and 95% of the CO2 compared with primary metals production. 

Recycling “will not provide a viable EU supply source to Europe’s electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies until after 2040, however,” the study clarifies. “These applications and their metals are only just being put on the market and will not be available for recycling for the next 10-15 years.”.

Technology developments and behavioural changes will also have an important influence on metals demand after 2030, but could not be assessed in the study due to a lack of scenarios. 

* * * * * 

About 

KU Leuven

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a research university in Leuven, Belgium. It conducts teaching, research, and services in computer science, engineering, natural sciences, theology, humanities, medicine, law, canon law, business, and social sciences.

Eurometaux, the European Association of Metal Producers

Based in Brussels, Eurometaux represents Europe’s non-ferrous metals producers and recyclers, promoting sustainable production, use and recycling of non-ferrous metals and a supportive business environment.


METHOD OF RESEARCH

Systematic review

From EurekAlert!

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mikewaite
April 26, 2022 2:45 am

I am assuming , having only seen the abstract in News Alert that the study is based on the assumption of a level of personal transport and access to power similar to that enjoyed by the bulk of europeans over the last few decades.
If the raw materials are not available in the quantities described then the supply of goods and services to the general public will have to be correspondingly reduced, rationed or actually denied.
How will this be done? equitable rationing, or power and transport only permitted to those judged, by The Powers That Be, “worthy” to receive them.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  mikewaite
April 26, 2022 2:58 am

Of course, there is always the slight possibility that the extent of the Global Warming scam will become known and understood worldwide, and the majority will realise that the best way to proceed is to maximise fossil fuel use while minimising this mad craze for EVs, solar, and windmills. At that point, supply will greatly exceed demand, materials’ prices will plummet, and life can resume as pleasantly as it once was. Maybe!!!

AndyHce
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 26, 2022 11:24 am

But the preferred route involves the heavy use of social credit scores verified through massive advances in surveillance.

willem post
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 28, 2022 8:55 am

Often, people are exposed to mantras, such as: 

DO THIS AND THAT, BY SUCH AND SUCH DATE, OR THE WORLD WILL BE DOOMED

Let’s get real

New England is TOO small to affect anything regarding the climate, etc.

The BEST thing for New Englanders is ENERGY EFFICIENCY and MUCH SMALLER STATE GOVERNMENTS

Here is an example of a very expensive experiment:

Germany, population about 84 million, reduced its fossil fuel primary energy from 84% to 76% of total primary energy, after spending at least $500 billion on its ENERGIEWENDE for over 20 years. That is the official number. The real number is at least $700 billion.

The $700 billion likely was borrowed, so the interest on it would be about $30 billion per year, which is accounted for somewhere else, per government bookkeeping rules

Eight percent of FF reduction for $700 billion, or $700 billion/84 million people = $8,333/per person per 20 years, or $400/person/y, or $1,600 per family of 4, per year, not counting interest on borrowed money.

Remember, a lot of this includes low-hanging fruits, such as changing light bulbs, insulating, sealing, more efficient vehicles and appliances. 
It gets more difficult and more expensive to make each ADDITIONAL percent reduction!!! 
Something they do not tell you about in school, or elsewhere.

By this time, the EARLY solar and wind systems are being REPLACED with new ones, and on and on it goes. Where do you landfill all THAT junk?

This dismal example was accomplished by a rich, technologically advanced country, which most European countries, and New England, and the rest of the world, could not imitate

Germany ruined its countryside with 500 to 600 ft tall wind turbines and solar systems all over Germany (to socially and “equitably” spread the blight), and deforested millions of acres for generating electricity from burning trees.

Germany increased its household electricity rates by more than 250% over these 20+ years

Germany and Denmark, another wind maven, have the highest household electricity rates in Europe, about 30 EUROCENT/kWh

In Germany, and the rest of Europe, a major increase in household and commercial/industrial electricity rates is in process, due to:

1) Increased inflation rates, increased interest rates, and increased energy and materials prices 

2) The US using NATO to help Ukraine fight and weaken Russia for the next few years; a mini-version of WW-III

For Germany, and the rest of Europe, fighting climate change will be at the bottom of the list, despite Brussels declarations to do this and that, by such and such date.

ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENTS TO NEW REALITIES, SUCH AS THE END OF PETRO-DOLLARS, AND TYING THE VALUE OF CURRENCIES, NOT TO CENTRAL BANK MONEY PRESSES, BUT TO GOLD AND NATURAL RESOURCES, WILL BE A SOBERING PROCESS FOR THE US AND EU FOR YEARS.

Vuk
Reply to  mikewaite
April 26, 2022 3:19 am

After military hardware carnage on the roads and fields of Ukraine, I can envisage strong impulse of the rearmament not only by both sides in conflict but most of the NATO and other countries.
Military from wherever it is, it will claim priority on whatever they need and whatever happens to be available.
Rise of military–industrial complex (thatIke” warned of) is hurtling over horizon in our direction, as a malfunctioning cruise missile.
For those not familiar here is the quote
Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

fretslider
Reply to  Vuk
April 26, 2022 4:01 am

Nato is fighting a proxy war of attrition.

LdB
Reply to  fretslider
April 26, 2022 6:13 am

Which is sensible why fight your enemy when someone else will just send them more arms …. has happened for years throughout history and not a new concept.

Last edited 24 days ago by LdB
R Stevenson
Reply to  LdB
May 1, 2022 8:21 am

With only puny England to deal with Germany at the height of its power invaded the Soviet Union from East Prussia, western Poland, Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Finland with 4 million men. The resulting attritional war lasted for 4 years. Fortunately Germany declared war on the US in the interim although they did not have to. A non-nuclear war war now against Russia and its allies would last for decades – like the past wars such as the hundred years war between France and England, the war of the Spanish succession between Louis XIV, the Hapsburgs and Maritime powers, the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Today a war would lead to the use of nuclear weapons by the losing side unless a treaty was negotiated or Putin was overthrown by the largely ignorant 300 million or so Russians

R Stevenson
Reply to  R Stevenson
May 1, 2022 9:41 am

At the end of the 4 year war with Germany, Stalin was so paranoid and distrusting that he thought they, the Germans , would swiftly make peace with the Allies swap sides and combine to defeat the Soviets. Perhaps Putin (son of Stalin) suffers from the same paranoid delusion particularly when he sees his former obedient satellites wisely joining together in a defensive alliance with only one buffer state Belarus between him and them.

Drake
Reply to  fretslider
April 26, 2022 6:22 am

Yes, but a defensive war not initiated by NATO, or the WEST.

The failure of the west to provide Ukraine with offensive weapons, cruise missiles, etc., to strike military and manufacturing facilities DEEP inside Russia and to take the war to the Russian population will only extend the length of this war and the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

Willem post
Reply to  Drake
April 26, 2022 7:07 am

If a missile strikes the bridge, the center of Kiev will be flattened with a tactical nuclear bomb, for sure, and then all hell will break loose

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willem post
April 26, 2022 11:30 am

And, with prevailing westerly winds, the fallout will blow into Russian farmlands and cities. It is not unlike pissing into the wind, only the consequences will be more severe.

niceguy
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 26, 2022 3:40 pm

Fallout is a nothingburger

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  niceguy
April 26, 2022 6:42 pm

Is that why the Ukranians abandoned Chernobyl and spent millions to protect the remaining reactor from the elements? And were concerned when the Russians occupied the area.

willem post
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 28, 2022 8:59 am

That was a military reactor, without a containment vessel, which ALL current reactors are required to have, as standard specification.

Present nuclear plants have useful service lives of 60 to 80 years.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  willem post
April 29, 2022 9:05 pm

And your point being? I had suggested that using tactical nuclear weapons on Ukraine would be short-sighted because of the fallout, and niceguy responded that is was a “nothingburger.” I responded in turn, if it was the case that fallout was a “nothingburger,” why was there an international effort to ‘entomb’ the reactor?

So, While I have no argument with your ‘facts,’ what do they have to do with the point of the thread?

Last edited 20 days ago by Clyde Spencer
R Stevenson
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 1, 2022 8:34 am

The Chernobyl clouds triggered alarms and the shutdown of a nuclear plant in Sweden. Heavy rain caused fallout to settle out West of Kursk in Belarus. In addition lamb from north Wales was radioactive for years.

goracle
Reply to  Drake
April 26, 2022 3:56 pm

Do I feel sorry for the vast majority of innocent Ukranians who are being forced to flee their homes for their lives or vast majority of innocent Russians who will suffer the sanctions that Europe/USA impose? Yes. However, should I believe our politicians when they scream about caring about Russian incursions into Ukrainian borders half a world away (and that we should do something about it) when they don’t give a damn about illegal incursions at our southern border (never mind illegal stays from expired visas)? No.

The whole thing smells of new world order billionaires who want to distract us from what they’re doing to reshape the world. For example, distract from the lie that the covid vax is effective (so keep taking it), even though most entering hospitals and ICUs for covid are fully vaxxed. Distract from the lie that the covid vax is safe and not causing serious injuries (so keep taking it and extend it to 6 month old babies), even though the DMED scandal and VAERS show they do. Distract from the lie that is the green agenda slowly being implemented piece by piece all over the world, even though it will move everyone to more dependency on the govt and less overall freedom (but you will be happier according to them, so you should trust them).

Last edited 24 days ago by goracle
Willem post
Reply to  fretslider
April 26, 2022 7:04 am

Ukrainians, given many EU and US rebuild promises that likely will not be kept, are NATO-trained and NATO-armed, so they will be injured and/or die to weaken Russia, and so the US-led NATO can be cheering their courage from the sidelines. TRUE GRIT COMES TO MIND

willem post
Reply to  fretslider
April 27, 2022 8:54 am

Excerpt from:

THE UKRAINE PLOT IS THICKENING WITH GERMANY AND FRANCE BARELY IN LOCKSTEP WITH US/UK-LED NATO
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-plot-is-thickening-with-germany-and-france-no-longer-in
 
I do not approve of any wars anywhere, including in Korea, Vietnam, NATO bombing Serbia, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Libya and Ukraine.

This article, “Shades of Gray in the Russia-Ukraine War”, provides an excellent summary of historic developments. It should be read for background. Zelensky was elected on a “Peace-with-Russia” platform. Despite the terms of the Minsk agreements, the powers surrounding Zelensky have been unwilling to talk to and negotiate about home-rule with the leaders in the Donbas region in East Ukraine, for eight years. 
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/shades-gray-russia-ukraine-warhttps://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/shades-gray-russia-ukraine-war

US-led Color Revolution/Coup d’Etat of Ukraine: I wrote this article, because Russia-hating, extremists in the US State Department and US Congress have been using NATO to pressure first the USSR, then Russia. 

They have been deluding impoverished, corrupt Ukraine with promises of future membership in the EU and NATO, since 1990 
They have been weaponizing Ukraine against Russia ever since the US/EU-instigated color revolution/coup d’etat in 2014

willem post
Reply to  fretslider
April 28, 2022 9:05 am

The Ukrainians must feel like fools taken for a deadly ride, by the US/NATO-trained AZOV, Nazi-style fanatics, some of whom are still holding out in Mariupol.

The Ukraine people elected a government that sucked up to the US to get weapons, training, and $billions

That government used “suck-up-to-US” Poland as its role model.

The Ukrainians physically and mentally suffer, and have enormous damage to their country, and have a collapsed economy, and have their armed forces get damaged, so that the US long-term policy goal of “weakening” Russia will be achieved.

Ukrainians will be wondering: “Where is the beef?”

THE UKRAINE PLOT IS THICKENING WITH GERMANY AND FRANCE BARELY IN LOCKSTEP WITH US/UK-LED NATO
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-plot-is-thickening-with-germany-and-france-no-longer-in

pigs_in_space
Reply to  willem post
April 28, 2022 10:51 pm

“taken for a deadly ride, by the US/NATO-trained AZOV, Nazi-style fanatics, some of whom are still holding out in Mariupol.”

You are a f..cking nutcase!
Why aren’t you fighting with the Russians yourself raping, murdering and bombarding innocent civilians, schools and hospitals to be “liberated”.

Now go get your roubles from Prighozin will you- Kremlin troll!

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Vuk
April 26, 2022 5:20 am

And another quote from the same speech is applicable to climate “science”:

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Barnes Moore
April 26, 2022 7:01 am

Universities are too big, complex and full of ‘strange’ curricula, showing off like faux generals with their medals. One danger is overreaction, as in throwing the “wheat out with the chaff, baby out with the bath water.” While there have long been others much smaller there, this one in Austin will be interesting up against the big one with too many ‘strange,’ including some that would be, administrators and some faculty. We were warned about ‘schools’ of education many decades ago. https://www.uaustin.org/

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
April 26, 2022 7:11 am

This is also interesting under their “READ OUR ANNOUNCEMENT.” 16 former university presidents. https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/we-cant-wait-for-universities-to?s=r

Richard Page
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
April 26, 2022 8:13 am

Very noble but I bet even they draw the line at climate change truth!

beng135
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
April 30, 2022 9:00 am

It’s been known & wrote about for a long time — The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America written by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt in 1999.
https://archive.org/details/pdfy-SYN9t0cHh1aFu8XV

Last edited 20 days ago by beng135
jeffery p
Reply to  Vuk
April 26, 2022 6:29 am

Ike was speaking about the tail wagging the dog. His warnings about the military-industrial complex are still valid and apply to almost every department and agency.

Keep in mind, that the US has real national security needs. We have real enemies and potential enemies, such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc., which are watching for weaknesses they can exploit.

Civilian oversight is a must. Leaders must be held accountable.

John the Econ
Reply to  mikewaite
April 26, 2022 5:54 am

Aka, the real agenda.

posa
Reply to  mikewaite
April 27, 2022 6:52 pm

If the raw materials are not available in the quantities described then the supply of goods and services to the general public will have to be correspondingly reduced, rationed or actually denied.

Exactly as stated Mike. Personal vehicles as we understand the idea will  no longer be available to the public. Neo-serfs will walk or ride horseback if they wish to leave their indentured estates. 
fretslider
April 26, 2022 2:58 am

Another bunch of could, if, but etc.

The child slaves in DRC will not be short of work trying to bring Cobalt production up over 300%.

This study shows just how delusional they have become. And where they all too easily turn a blind eye.

“We need to act now to… accelerate the clean energy transition.

Nobody is in a position to transition to anything, in fact net zero has already been reached by many – they’re out of money.

Last edited 24 days ago by fretslider
Spetzer86
Reply to  fretslider
April 26, 2022 4:48 am

They’re never “out” of money as long as there’s a printing press or a computer willing to add more 1’s and 0’s. They may be really close of a complete lack of faith in the concept of money, but so far few want to venture in that direction.

Dean
Reply to  fretslider
April 27, 2022 3:56 pm

Could if but, that is the express purpose of this sort of study, to highlight what is required if you go down this path.

How the hell else you going to do that without creating a hypothetical future???

As long as the assumptions and methodology are laid out then this is a totally valid way of finding flaws in options, at least in the real world of engineering it is.

You would be happy with coin tossing I suppose?

Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 3:02 am

By 2030 they think there will be shortages?
And they did a study to find this out?
There are shortages right now!
The whole rest of the world is bidding for global supplies.
I wonder if they took that into account?

I am 100% sure they did a very superficial and uninformed study.
For one thing, to increase mining and refining of all of these materials, it will take a huge amount of new machines and industrial facilities for processing and manufacturing of what is needed to simply obtain the increased amounts of what is needed for the renewable buildout.
All of it will take a lot of what we are currently using for energy and fuel…a lot more that is.

We know how well these people are planning out what they have in mind: Not at all. They have in mind command economy type stuff, on a worldwide scale, but do not even have what used to be called a 5 year plan. And such plans never worked.
Trying to do it with no plan, and proceeding willy-nilly by first shutting down the means of production and the things that keep our economy prosperous, is as far from proceeding rationally as can be conceived.

Not that it would matter if they had a detailed plan, because the required raw materials do not exist to transform the world economy, energy, transportation, and manufacturing infrastructures, in such a time span, and so the logistics are impossible.

H.R.
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 4:35 am

Your points are all spot on, Nicholas.

But perhaps the plan is to cull the global herd down to about 500 million people. In that case, what looks like a lack of planning is actually a pretty good plan. Maybe they did take all that into account. We shall see.

Richard Page
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 5:33 am

I always thought it was an insane proposition to move away from hydrocarbons because they were an ultimately limited resource towards an even more limited resource in rare metals. Absolute madness.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 7:27 am

Read between the lines. Send all the production to China, Russia, and India. This will let them say “we have met net-zero, aren’t we great”. If anyone thinks Europe is going to create mining out the wazoo and build refineries for the material they are completely insane. It ain’t going to happen.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Gorman
April 26, 2022 9:13 am

I agree.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 11:49 am

The whole rest of the world is bidding for global supplies. I wonder if they took that into account?

They did not. Those numbers are for Europe. In some instances, it may be possible to hit the targets, e.g. lithium. However, I have my doubts that the nickel and cobalt needs can be met because there are so few deposits. In the case of the DR Congo, the locals are working abandoned mines that are no longer profitable to work with machinery. They are picking up the dregs left behind on the surface. It won’t take long to exhaust the low-grade surficial deposits, exacerbating the supply problem. Those doing the analysis make a common mistake of assuming that all one has to do is invest more money and dig deeper holes close to where the metals are refined and consumed. Metal deposits can be very fickle. There was once a time when ~90% of the world’s supply of molybdenum came from about one square mile of a Colorado mountain top; that source is now exhausted.

Doonman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 11:50 am

There are no shortages of any material on earth. What is here is here and that’s all you get. The people of earth will either have to live within their means or whine about it.

Quelgeek
April 26, 2022 3:09 am

Assuming for a moment that the numbers are accurate, Europe won’t face any of these shortages because Europe would never make a significant fraction of the batteries required. China will face the shortages and China will sell what batteries it can make to the highest bidder. If the EU (and the UK and the US) decides it wants batteries more than something else it would like to have spent the money on, well and good. Otherwise, get ready to be cold, lonely, poor, and bored.

Last edited 24 days ago by Quelgeek
TonyL
April 26, 2022 3:10 am

Let’s see how this plays out.
climate neutrality by 2050 will require 35 times more lithium and 7 to 26 times the amount of increasingly scarce rare earth metals

They start out honest enough. Then:
The good news: By 2050, 40 to 75% of Europe’s clean energy metal needs could be met through local recycling if Europe invests heavily now and fixes bottlenecks

They will meet needs from recycling.
Happy talk, that is all. Then they admit:
But Europe faces critical shortfalls in the next 15 years without more mined and refined metals supplying the start of its clean energy system

They can not quite admit that there is not enough Lithium on the planet for the whole developed world to go all all electric.

This is the punch line from that joke –
“You Can’t Get There From Here.”

Unfortunately, this time it is not a joke, this is national policy in the making.
It is all “Magical Thinking”. Through all the Global Warming talk and plans and policy, Magical Thinking abounds.

This is going to get ugly.

Quelgeek
Reply to  TonyL
April 26, 2022 3:46 am

Europe’s clean energy metal needs could be met through local recycling” means: once we have magicked the metals into existence, then in future we can recycle them.

Maybe. Maybe not. Until we do the magical bit we’ll never find out if they’re wrong.

As you say, it is all “Magical Thinking”. We won’t be finding out they’re wrong.

AndyHce
Reply to  Quelgeek
April 26, 2022 11:43 am

Recycling requires considerable amounts of energy and materials.

Dean
Reply to  TonyL
April 27, 2022 6:33 pm

Not so much ugly as hilarious!!

If a man can become a woman then a shortage can be a surplus.

Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 3:22 am

Reading what these people have to say is like the Seinfeld episode with the “yada yada yada” meme: They toss out sentences like, we simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us. We need to act now to… accelerate the clean energy transition. The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system”, as if saying it is the same as knowing how to do it, or even if it is possible!

They are talking about doing more of what is already not working, but has cost vast amounts of money and is on the verge of causing massive problems with hunger and shortages of basic commodities.
Plus hurrying up with tech that has not been invented yet.

This is going badly, and will end horribly.
And all for nothing.
All for a fraud.

bcullen1815
April 26, 2022 4:03 am

I see no link to the actual study!? If I was cyncial I would say this was some kind of commodities hype.

Peter Morris
April 26, 2022 4:06 am

This study seems to assume that the energy (both electrical and in human capital terms) needed to recycle metals is comically minimal.

But that’s easily proven false. If it were, recycling would ALREADY be the norm for all “permanent” metals. But even steel isn’t recycled in the quantities needed for this to work.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Peter Morris
April 26, 2022 12:03 pm

Something has to be as valuable as gold or platinum for re-cycling to be very effective. So, if everyone is willing and able to pay the equivalent of a solid gold battery, then the re-cycling will work. Otherwise, the losses will still require huge infrastructure investments to develop new mines, mills, and refineries. It typically takes one or two decades to permit and build a new mine. Sometimes, it never happens because of the NIMBY attitude. There is an old saying, “Gold is where you find it.” The implication is that the location of a mineable resource is difficult to predict, and it has to be mined where it is found, not where you would like it to be. Few politicians realize this. They are as clueless about where modern materials come from as the inner-city kid who thinks chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

Last edited 24 days ago by Clyde Spencer
Peta of Newark
April 26, 2022 4:12 am

Random points:
Cobalt is completely now on the way out, being a primary requirement for Lithium Ion Batteries. (L-Ion)
Those are superseded by LiFePO4 batteries – still need Lithium but NO Cobalt.
And LiFePO4s are much easier to mange (similar to Lead Acid), do not burn very well if hardly at all and have cycle lives of 2,3 and (some even claim) 6,000 times

Neodymium…
…..is for lazy people, the sort usually found with their snouts on a Government Mandated Trough
Neodymium was originally and best used in classic ‘computer hard discs’ but solid state discs are now caught up for price/capacity and were always miles ahead for speed and power consumption.
Their ‘slight’ drawback being the insane amount of energy needed to keep the Clean Rooms clean during their manufacture
Also in high-class expensive and pretentious headphones.
Putting Neodymium into cars and windmills is naked money grubbing

Recycling..
Well yesssss, but if you’re gonna recycle something for somebody, wasn’t it necessary for some other body to have used the New Product first?

How can there be any shortage of Silicon on this planet?

Zinc, there’s oodles of the stuff jus’ laying around. Lets try keep our heads shall we, esp while everyone else is losing theirs.

In fact, there really is a desperate shortage of Zinc – inside the cells of each and every one of us,
It’s reclusive stuff – not often seen in the bloodstream and thus difficult to ascertain deficiency or otherwise.
Easy to tell if you are deficient tho:
=brittle easily broken nails
=dry horrible hair & split ends
=you drink any amount of alcohol
=you die from things like Covid

Nickel:
Used primarily for making coins (money) but otherwise as a substitute/replacement for Copper in electronics – its a reasonable heat/electricity conductor, fairly malleable and solder-able. Classically for joing together myriad small battery cells to make the completed battery. See it inside your laptop battery.
There’s no need to be stressing yourself or anybody else (you see what happens) about Nickel.
(In combination with Iron, makes The Ultimate Bombproof Indestructible and Immortal Battery you could ever wish for. Dirt cheap too.
Sadly a rather poor charge/discharge efficiency, circa 60% I think I recall)

Dysprosium:
Hideously expensive and the most significant use being control rods inside nuclear reactors, otherwise to improve the temperature capabilities of Neodymium magnets.
Oh hello Trough Snorter, did you hear your name?

Praseodymium
Yet another barely relevant squirrel…
Used in jet engines, cigarette lighters and, Quelle Surpreeeze, Ooh Lala Shocke Horreur, Neodymium magnets

Edit to PS
Headline:The polygenic nature of telomere length and the anti-ageing properties of lithium..https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0289-0

Also:
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2649277
Find it involved in mental health issues everywhere.
Aim for about 4mg elemental Lithium daily – as the ‘Orotate’
It’s available on eBay, and considering what is is, Dirt Cheap

Last edited 24 days ago by Peta of Newark
fretslider
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 26, 2022 4:36 am

“high-class expensive and pretentious headphones.”

Agreed 100% I, myself, use Marshall amplification…

JIm Marshall was after all, the father of loud. And I do mean loud.

Bryan A
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 26, 2022 6:44 am

For every “Oodles of stuff lying around” there is also a very Vocal opposition to it’s mining and production. People willing to commit Self Immolation to stop mining and drilling

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 26, 2022 12:13 pm

Your iron phosphate batteries will compete with agriculture for use. As it is, it too is predicted to peak about 2040, without the increased demands of batteries.

http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2016/finalwebsite/problems/phosphorus.html

Intelligent Dasein
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 26, 2022 2:25 pm

You have categorically no flipping clue what you are talking about.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
April 26, 2022 6:44 pm

I have gotten tired of pointing out this person’s misstatements.
I wonder if it is a case of internetting while drunk, or what.
Comes very close to be wrong about nearly every word of every sentence.

R Stevenson
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 1, 2022 6:22 am

Nickel is alloyed with chromium to make 18/8 stainless steel. Ti is added to provide weld protection or low carbon steel is used. 3%Mo provides even greater protection against corrosion as long as there is no abrasion. Of course it is imperative that stainless steel is not dumped but recycled. This is achieved using Sweden’s plasma arc furnace technology.

R Stevenson
Reply to  R Stevenson
May 1, 2022 6:30 am

Zinc can be recycled using the combination of electric furnaces and ISP splash condensers. It can also be recycled using the ISP process – furnace and splash condenser.

Ewin Barnett
April 26, 2022 4:14 am

The electric grid must be increased in capacity of all electric lines and transformers by at least 2x and maybe 3x. More land for right of ways. Thicker wires. Taller and stronger poles. More land made totally unusable for any agricultural use by solar panel farms.

Silver not mentioned. Already a large gap between mining capacity and silver demand. Each electric vehicle as several ounces of silver for electronics and connector plating.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ewin Barnett
April 26, 2022 7:24 pm

It is easy to say capacity should be increased, but the engineering challenges, cost effectiveness, and many other considerations make it not so easily done.
Taller poles are subject to higher forces on them, and must be stronger, and cost more to repair after inevitable failures. Taller poles require different means of access, if for example existing bucket trucks do not reach high enough.

Making something larger/bigger/more power often has, at a certain point, diseconomies of scale.
It may be far more efficient, for example, to have more transformers than to increase the capacity, if homes start needing vastly more power each.

Another example:
Thicker power lines are not helpful in the vast majority of locations and installations.
The diameter is already optimized.

Due to something called the skin effect, making them any larger in diameter than those on every power transmission and distribution line in the US would only waste metal, make the cables too heavy, and do almost nothing to improve ampacity.
It seems likely the same optimizing has been done in other locations as well.
For 60Hz AC power, the skin depth is about 1/3 of an inch.
Beyond this depth, current density decreases exponentially.

A close look shows that on large power transmission installations, they run more lines, not larger ones.

http://panamaadvisoryinternationalgroup.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/power-line-new.jpg

comment image

The relationship between the distance between pylons/poles, the weight vs strength of the cables, the allowances required for expansion and contraction, the cost of all such materials, etc…has long ago been optimized.

The skin effect is one of the main reasons why for very long distances, high voltage DC is preferred.

Last edited 24 days ago by Nicholas McGinley
MarkW2
April 26, 2022 4:25 am

So, in summary, they’re saying demand will outstrip supply: energy will not become cheaper and nor will EVs.

When will some journalist be brave enough to cover what’s really happening instead of peddling the usual political lies about the true costs of net zero? Here, at least, is some hard evidence for making that point. To say nothing of supply security and the human cost of mining this stuff.

Andy H
April 26, 2022 4:41 am

Global Lithium reserves are 14-20 million tonnes. The EU wants to use 0.8 million tonnes, about 4-6%, to make batteries annually by 2050. The EU is about 6% of the World population. They assume America, China, Australia, etc will not want to do the same? I seriously doubt we will be in a green utopia of 2050 as we will be in a worldwide lithium shortage by then.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Andy H
April 26, 2022 6:58 am

The IEA anticipates the world will be seeing potential shortages of lithium and cobalt as soon as 2025.

griff
Reply to  Andy H
April 26, 2022 2:04 pm

‘recycling…’

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 3:44 pm

Does that mean using bicycles again?

(well, I suppose that plan is actually more plausible than aspiring to 100% EV personal transport)

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
April 27, 2022 1:31 pm

Not enough is able to be recycled. Even with recycling, the production will spiral down to virtually nil before we get halfway to market saturation, and that fails to account for replacements and increased demand.

Trying to Play Nice
April 26, 2022 4:52 am

Lithium battery recycling is not economically palatable right now, with only 5% of batteries recycled worldwide. Recycle vehicle batteries is especially expensive because of the manual labor required to get the cells out of the battery housing. That means either we will need technology to find a way to build safe batteries that are easy to recycle or the costs of ownership will be enormous.

griff
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
April 26, 2022 2:04 pm
Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 3:51 pm

Last month Britishvolt secured UK government backing for its battery plant in Blyth, unlocking 1.7 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) in private funding.

When the 3.8 billion pound, 45 gigawatt-hour (GWh) plant is fully operational in 2027 it should be able to produce battery packs for over 450,000 EVs annually.

So the UK taxpayers are being soaked for 1.5 billion quid to set this virtue signalling operation up?

How do the millions of Brit taxpayers who can’t afford to buy EVs feel about this?

John MCCUTCHEON
April 26, 2022 5:29 am

As usual the devil will be in the details for the recycling. Will the recovery be for the rare earths and lithium OR for the common as dirt Copper and Aluminium? And to power the recycling industry, it wouldn’t be by chance reliant on cheap reliable power. You know, the stuff generated from coal, oil and gas.

Drake
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
April 26, 2022 6:32 am

And nuclear.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John MCCUTCHEON
April 26, 2022 7:46 pm

Common as dirt copper?
The cost of power is exactly why it pays to recycle metals.
As the low hanging fruit is used up, more remote locations, deeper and/or less concentrated ores, and thus higher and higher costs in power/energy are required.

And it is not only the cost of recycling processes that must be considered, but the cost of disposal for things that are NOT recycled.
Tipping fees in landfills have not exactly been decreasing any time recently.

Last edited 24 days ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 7:59 pm

What it costs to recycle something depends hugely on whether the material in question can be easily separated from anything dissimilar.
When it is something that is in low concentration, what it is mixed with and the chemical properties become determining factors in cost effectiveness.
Another factor is how much of something is being recycled.
When the quantities become large enough, automated processes and highly specialized refinement setups become economical.
Rising energy costs come into play as well, for obvious reasons.
Shipping ore from the inside of a remote mountain in Indonesia may be less expensive than recycling at one price point for copper and oil/power, but recycling became highly lucrative as copper went above a certain price about 18 years ago, and oil/gas/power become increasingly costly.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 26, 2022 8:02 pm

Scrap iron has recently been above $10 per hundred weight, retail at any local junkyard.
At this price, large piles of rusting junk become veritable goldmines.

VOWG
April 26, 2022 5:36 am

There is no such thing as “clean” energy envisioned by the terminally stupid eco freaks.

Tom
April 26, 2022 6:09 am

EU President von der Leyen: “The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system.”

If She truly understood “Science”, she would be instead advocating “drill baby drill”, crash programs for new nuclear power plants of all sizes, hydro dam construction, and transitioning the billions spent on Climate Modelling into energy production. These require only development, not invention.

The inventions required for “renewables, hydrogen, and energy efficiency” simply cannot be scheduled on any timeline, and certainly will not happen in the short term, if at all. Earth’s billions of families simply cannot live on three acres and a mule each.

Slowroll
Reply to  Tom
April 26, 2022 9:07 am

Yep, add more random energy because the random energy now available is too random. Typical lefftard logic — add more stuff that doesn’t work because the stuff we have doesn’t work.

AndyHce
Reply to  Tom
April 26, 2022 11:59 am

Will there be any billions in their future?

jeffery p
April 26, 2022 6:15 am

Rare earth metals are rare? Don’t they grow on trees? Aren’t rare earth metals made of sand?

garry lukas
Reply to  jeffery p
April 26, 2022 7:21 am

They are rare in the western world because processing them is very dirty.
Climate enthusiasts think it’s best to outsource this “filth” to other countries and then complain about their pollution…

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  garry lukas
April 26, 2022 12:18 pm

Another way of putting that is rare earth mining is very energy intensive if it is done with concern for the impact on the environment. Because energy costs money, that has to be passed on to the consumer, perhaps making batteries un-affordable to even the middle classes.

griff
Reply to  garry lukas
April 26, 2022 2:02 pm

The way the Chinese choose to produce them is dirty: it doesn’t have to be

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 3:57 pm

As design and process engineers have always told anyone who will listen to them –

you can have cheap (dirty), good, fast.
But you can’t have all of them together.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 5:48 pm

I propose we send Griff to China to lecture the Chicoms on how to produce batteries both Cheaply AND Cleanly. Perhaps he will be escorted into a Uyghur battery manufacturing camp to demonstrate his abilities at clean battery manufacturing or a Uyghur battery mineral mining camp to demonstrate his clean mining methods

AndyHce
Reply to  jeffery p
April 26, 2022 12:02 pm

While actual sand in any given place might contain specs of metals, sand itself has nothing whatever to do with any metal save silicon

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  AndyHce
April 26, 2022 8:06 pm

If you have the right kind of sand on some property you own, you can trade trucks full of it for bags full of gold.
In effect.

Dean
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 27, 2022 7:37 pm

Assuming of course you can get the permits to mine it. And getting those permits has been one of the most difficult things to accomplish with mining recently.

Plus access to water.

Finding the stuff is generally one of the easier parts of the process of bringing on new supply.

Coeur de Lion
April 26, 2022 6:26 am

Why is there this emphasis on Electricity Generation? Because it’s easy to think about. And to an extent private motor cars. But freight in hundreds of thousands of twelve wheel artics? Fall about laughing. When I top up a United Airlines Boeing at Heathrow – their carbon (ugh) or ours? Flybe emigrates HQ to Madrid to become an offshore airline. All LNG ships denied access to port because driven by diesels? Oops. Our local farmer plants saplings to compensate for his diesel tractor. Pays off in forty years. All forestry is carbon neutral. I think I am losing my mind

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
April 26, 2022 8:42 am

I recall that LNG ships are fueled by the LNG cargo. A percentage of the cargo is used to move the ship.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bill Rocks
April 26, 2022 10:36 am

No. Even a cursory look should tell you that that approach would be unworkable – while it is true that some ships use LNG derivatives as fuel (and others oil derivatives) the fuel is always kept seperate from the cargo without exception.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bill Rocks
April 26, 2022 8:08 pm

LNG sounds expensive compared to bunker oil.

Last edited 24 days ago by Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
April 26, 2022 12:55 pm

There are over 500 LNG powered ships but the engines are not 100% efficient….allow like 3.7% methane to pass thru unburned….and methane is 30 times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is…so another problemo….it actually is more pollution than the heavy oil burning marine engines. Ironic, no? Maybe the methane can be burned off to produce CO2…the stuff they are trying get rid of?

Last edited 24 days ago by Anti-griff
Joel O'Bryan
April 26, 2022 6:34 am

wtf is “climate neutrality”?

Richard Page
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 26, 2022 8:17 am

‘Climate Change neutrality’ is the modern version of trying to work out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Pointless intellectual masturbation with a completely flawed premise.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  Richard Page
April 26, 2022 10:26 am

It’s not climate change neutrality, it’s “climate neutrality.”
Does The EU wants natural climate to be like Switzerland? Do they think climate cares how many windmills the install.
The EU is being led by morons.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 26, 2022 12:21 pm

The primary export from Switzerland.

ih_fan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 26, 2022 12:58 pm

wtf is “climate neutrality”?

It won’t attack your nation.

Hari Seldon
April 26, 2022 6:40 am

Please, could somebody publish a link to a downloadable version of the report von KU Leuven? Many THX in advance.

TonyL
Reply to  Hari Seldon
April 26, 2022 7:13 am

Often, My Google-Foo is weak, I am powerless, helpless. I am no good to anybody, much less myself.

Sometimes my Google-Foo is powerful, I am an unstoppable force.

https://eurometaux.eu/metals-clean-energy/

Full Report : 7.45 Mb.
Policy Maker Summary : 1.96 Mb.

Reply to  TonyL
April 26, 2022 11:03 am

TonyL
Thank you.
Any idea whether the Policy Maker Summary is the usual load of ‘hiding the truth’ [amply set out in the full report]?
Or might it be truly a summary – ‘You can’t get There from Here’ [as you said at  April 26, 2022 3:10 am !]
Thanks again.

Auto

observa
April 26, 2022 7:07 am

I need to sit down and take a few deep breaths-
Only EVs from 2035 is the ‘wrong way to go’, say engineering experts (msn.com)

BMW Toyota Stellantis and Porsche breaking ranks and now a Mechanical Industry Association uttering impure thoughts? Elon snafuing Twitter and talking about free speech this could all get out of hand if the message can’t be controlled.

observa
Reply to  observa
April 26, 2022 7:27 am

Not to worry climate changers. Look for inspiration with net zero from your Fearless Leaders and their Great Leaps Forward-
Biden’s pledge to make all US military vehicles climate-friendly ‘a good joke’ (msn.com)

Rich Lentz(@usurbrain)
Reply to  observa
April 26, 2022 10:48 am

What will they have? Retractable Wind-turbines on Tanks? Solar panels on aircraft carriers? Dissimilar metal battery technics on submarines? [is there even enough area on a sub to get enough energy for the auxiliary, retractable propeller? Guess they will have to use treadmills and bicycle to generate the electricity. [Do the math on that. They would have to carry mega-pounds of sugar to get enough calories from the crew.]

TonyL
Reply to  observa
April 26, 2022 7:42 am

this could all get out of hand if the message can’t be controlled.

Surrr
April 26, 2022 7:23 am

These climate alarmists are willing to dig up the earth, and the amount of minerals needed from the report ,dig everywhere and everything. All you Gretas out there, your future will be one big polluted hole.

Rich Lentz(@usurbrain)
Reply to  Surrr
April 26, 2022 10:38 am

Everyone can see the destruction they did in West Virginia right out their picture window.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rich Lentz
April 26, 2022 12:28 pm

All those flat-topped mountains are good places to put malls, golf courses, airports, and ticky-tacky subdivisions. Maybe even a few universities that admit everyone regardless of their GPA. With some heavily-fertilized synthetic topsoil, even grow crops. But then probably the best use is for solar farms.

griff
Reply to  Surrr
April 26, 2022 2:00 pm

And of course nobody ever has to dig anything up to keep a fossil fuel economy running…

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 4:05 pm

Correct.
They don’t HAVE to dig anything up.
But they do because lotsa countries NEED what they dig up to keep their economies prospering, and they’re content to pay for the benefit.

DaveinCalgary
April 26, 2022 8:01 am

“we simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us. We need to act now to… accelerate the clean energy transition. “

I’ve become numb from the constant non sequiturs from the climate ilk.

Pretzel Logic

Brad-DXT
Reply to  DaveinCalgary
April 26, 2022 10:55 am

The only good pretzel logic:

roaddog
April 26, 2022 8:25 am

The impossible just takes a little longer.

Matthew Sykes
April 26, 2022 8:41 am

The amount of planet earth that needs tearing up for this, and the CO2 foot print of all that mining and refining is of course immense.

And all this just to stop plants having their lunch.

What utter madness.

Rich Lentz(@usurbrain)
April 26, 2022 8:54 am

FACTS on the internet.

Final energy consumption in the EU in 2020 amounted to 37 086 PJ, ( 35.15 Quads) 5.6 % less than in 2019 (Figure 9). Final energy consumption was slowly increasing from 1994 until it reached its highest value of 41 445 Mtoe in 2006
1.634 million mi² Area of the EU,
 
Electricity consumption in the United States was about 3.9 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2021.
In 2020, U.S. fossil fuel energy consumption, totaling 73 quads, was at its lowest level since 1991. Among U.S. non-fossil fuel energy sources, renewable energy consumption increased slightly from 11.4 quads in 2019 to a record high of 11.6 quads in 2020.
3,794,100 mi² Area of the US

Take the numbers provided above and determine how much each of the and determine how much each of the 10 metals listed in the article will require, Basically you can do it for the EU and then multiply by two for the US, However that would not consider that the US is twice the size, and the Grid would be twice the size and need twice the length of transmission line and twice the amount of substations and associated breakers to provide a reliable grid.

Pleas have smelling Salts handy when you see the result of the two. and that is just the US and EU, about 1/3 of the globe.

Local Small Nuclear reactors greatly reduces the cost, GREATLY, Also Greatly increases reliability. My utility is already 1/3 “Renewable.” as a result there is an average of one outage every month long enough to cause me to reset all clocks all routers, WiFi system, From 1st grade till I graduated from college i rarely experienced one outage a year, and that was from an automobile accident. Was the same here until we got rid of our NPP.

YOU Must take the time to educate your government representatives.

Last edited 24 days ago by usurbrain
griff
Reply to  Rich Lentz
April 26, 2022 2:00 pm

SMRs might be great – but the Rolls Royce ones in the UK will amount to no more than 2.5 GW by 2035… not significant

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 4:12 pm

Unlike wind & solar devices, the more SMRs installed, the more power is reliably generated.

Installing more & more wind & solar does not guarantee more power being being reliably generated.

Why? Because at night the sun does not shine, and frequently, the wind does not

(oh why am I bothering still trying to get thickheads to grasp these basic facts?)

Bryan A
Reply to  Mr.
April 26, 2022 5:56 pm

Because it feels so good when you finally stop

Dean
Reply to  griff
April 27, 2022 7:42 pm

More homework needed from you Griffo on the meaning of “fit for purpose”

Kit P
April 26, 2022 9:49 am

Let me again call for a national museum of bad ideas so we can stop making the same mistakes.

Thirty years ago we did studies so our ‘leaders’ could make good choices.

The best good choice is waste biomass to energy. I can find many examples that are 30 years old and counting. Many of these projects also improved local environment because waste biomass is natural source of pollution.

The second best good choice is nuclear power. Looking at the assumptions made in the studies, nuclear power exceeds assumptions by at least 100%. For example, nuclear power plants were assumed to last 30 years. A reasonable assumption 30 years. The Clinton administration predicted nuclear share at 0% by now when it is actually still 20%.

Power companies plan now for 80 year life. I will not live to see it but 20 years from now they will looking at 100 years.

Solar is the worst of the bad ideas. The solar industry talks about expected performance but measures is zero kwh more often than not. The only purpose of solar is a picture for greenwashing.

Depending on location, wind is just a poor choice compared to solar. In the PNW, wind farms suck money out of California. I am for that.

When I look at 30 years of ‘leadership’, I am not worried about find raw materials because we will recycle the bad ideas using more energy than they produce.

Bryan A
Reply to  Kit P
April 26, 2022 6:03 pm

The problem with waste biomass is that there is insufficient waste to produce a decent quantity of energy to power society so “waste” becomes “Harvested” AND burning it to produce energy still releases far more CO2 daily than is absorbed by sinks daily SO it isn’t net zero. If it takes 100 years for the sink to grow the replacement tree that is burnt in a day, that is 36,525 trees/days worth of burning

Richard Page
Reply to  Bryan A
April 27, 2022 1:37 pm

Oh I don’t know – I know of at least one source of waste biomass that has yet to be used as a source of energy and, as far as I know, it’s virgin territory for the enterprising green entrepreneurs. And it’d be far better than trying to turn it into Soylent Green…..

michel
April 26, 2022 12:11 pm

Metals are the least of their problems. Attached, from today’s UK Telegraph, is the UK Climate Committee’s plans for UK Electricity.

Just think how much storage, and of what kind, will be needed to implement this madness.

They are at the same time doubling or tripling the demand for power, due mainly to heat pumps and EVs, and trying to take generation to wind and solar.

Pure, insane fantasy. They have no idea how to do this, and yet these are the great and the good, a serious Parliamentary Committee, and they have every intention of persuading the government of the day to go ahead and keep on with it.

UK Power Forecast.png
griff
Reply to  michel
April 26, 2022 1:59 pm

Well the govt just spent £6.7 million on 24 pilot projects for long term storage, there is a large new pumped storage site proposed, there is apparently a pipeline of 32GW of grid scale storage…

There is no way all UK EVs are going to need to be plugged in every night (and anyway there will be a smart charging system)

There is no way everyone with a boiler will be made to rip it out for a hea tpump: the trials with a 20% hydrogen mix are ongoing.

And we continue to build HVDC links to mainland Europe.

shouldn’t be any problem.

michel
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 3:37 pm

How many GWh is that?

32GW of grid scale storage is not a meaningful measure. GW is the amount that can be delivered instantanously, but the question is for how long. That is GWh

I don’t even believe 32GW is in planning. Enough storage to deliver 32GW for even a few minutes is way beyond anything installed or planned anywhere.

To deliver it for the length of time a calm evening in winter in the UK would require? At least 5 hours. To cover a week or more of calms in winter? You’d need two weeks of it. Its not remotely possible to build it. If you could build it you couldn’t afford it.

And anyway, even if you could build and afford it, it wouldn’t lower global emissions at all.

But hey, if I am wrong, just cite the study where the GWh is specified.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  michel
April 26, 2022 8:18 pm

Grand Coulee dam generates 7.2 GW, and it harnesses one of the largest river flows on the planet.

Where exactly do they have enough water to pump back and forth between two reservoirs to produce over 4 times that output?
comment image

michel
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 27, 2022 12:42 am

The late great McKay, writing in ‘Renewable Energy without the Hot Air’ estimated that for the UK to move to renewables it would have to flood (from memory) Wales and the Lake District for pumped storage. It might just have been Wales, don’t recall exactly. At any rate, its that sort of scale.

And then you have to have enough renewable energy to restore it, once you have used it in a cold calm winter week or so.

So the task is not just to find enough mountain area for the pumped storage (if that’s how you provide it).

It is also to provide enough renewable that when the calm eases and you go back to meeting regular demand through wind, you at the same time can recharge the storage. Because the next calm cold spell could happen any time.

The problem isn’t just that its not possible to provide enough storage. Though my graphic above shows clearly enough that the scale needed really is impossible.

Its that even could you do that, you’d have to almost duplicate your base load installation to have enough generation to be able to use it properly.

The whole project of moving to a renewable grid is impossible, the attempt would be an economic and social disaster, and even were it possible, there would be zero effect on global emissions, the alleged motivation for this insanity.

Dean
Reply to  michel
April 27, 2022 8:19 pm

The moment you start actually working through a few days hour by hour and note when the solar actually produces and how intermittent wind actually is, is the moment you realise the gigantic overcapacity of everything you need to build.

And how much energy is going to be lost moving it here and there, through all sorts of processes which have unavoidable inefficiency built in.

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 4:17 pm

the govt just spent £6.7 million

Clarification –
“Brit taxpayers were soaked for 6.7 million quid”.

Governments don’t have any funds that don’t come from soaking taxpayers.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 7:57 pm

That’s 280k per storage pilot
Rounding errors

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
April 27, 2022 7:07 am

Hey griff I think you missed the point (as usual) the point this time being the decimal one. Are you sure that’s not 3.2 GW which is what is in the pipeline for short term prospects?

Most of these sites range from 5-10MW to 30+MW with only four approaching 50MW

Last edited 23 days ago by Dave Andrews
griff
April 26, 2022 2:27 pm
Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 4:16 pm

I get a blank page from that link.

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 4:27 pm

“If this project gets off the ground it will be a game changer for Europe!”

(Quote from the developers in your linked article)

So, the Brit govt has signed a deal, but they won’t be putting any money down.

I see.

At least Solyndra in the US managed to graft $570 million off Obama before they pulled the plug.
(pardon pun)

observa
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 6:15 pm

Do keep up griff. The UK along with the mud countries is doomed as the economic power shifts to the nations of abundancy-
Sand crisis looms as world population surges, U.N. warns (msn.com)
Sahara-world-most-part-Africa.jpg (1600×1067) (britannica.com)
Now I have these shares in a solar powered sand mining company to get you in on the ground floor with.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  griff
April 26, 2022 8:29 pm

Your overlords are driving the entire world economy over a cliff, Griff.
The next recession may make the housing collapse/great recession look like a bikini beach barbecue party by comparison.
If and when that happens, and in the aftermath it becomes known to everyone on the planet it was not done for any purpose that was based on any thing necessary, it is likely to get real ugly for a lot of people.

michel
Reply to  griff
April 27, 2022 12:57 am

The cable will provide electricity from Morocco’s renewable energy-rich region of Guelmim Oued Noun, and is expected to generate 10.5GW of zero-carbon electricity from the sun and 3.6 GW of wind energy for an average of 20+ hours a day.

According to the company, this project, once completed, will generate enough electricity for over seven million British homes by 2030, accounting for eight percent of the country’s energy needs.

The project is the only sensible way to provide solar power – put your panels someplace where there is year round sun. Quite why you would also locate your wind turbines in Morocco is a mystery.

But the thing that doesn’t get a single mention in the piece is, as usual, storage. You have according to this 4 hours a day when there’s little or no power. So you have to have 4 hours worth of storage of something like 40GW. Maybe more, its not clear if it supplies 10.5 + 3.6 or just 10.5.

This is 160 GWh. Which you have to be able to draw down totally, and that is going to require overprovision of batteries. 100%? 50%? Where is there a working installation that provides that kind of quantity of power at that kind of draw rate? How much will that cost?

And even when you get through all this, you have still only, on these optimistic estimates, provided for 8% of UK power needs in 2030. If you look at my chart above, both demand and renewable supply are proposed to surge dramatically after 2030. You’ll be lucky if this project delivers 2% of demand in 2040 or 2050, assuming it works at all.

Every link you supply in support of the feasibility of Net Zero in the UK actually is proving, over and over again, the exact opposite. It is not doable, if it were doable it is not affordable, if it were affordable it would anyway not have any effect on global emissions.

Charles Higley(@higley7)
April 26, 2022 7:13 pm

However, if over 90% of vehicles and trucks are removed completely and all supplied are delivered to remotely controlled sites (some sort of tracked system), a lot of this demand is also removed. Remember, their goal is to prevent the population from moving around. They want us all to live day to day in our little communities and have no real lives. They want our consumerism to be lowered hugely.

Yeah, demand is less also when you sterilize the population with gene-therapy jabs and lower the number of consumers. That works.

dk_
April 26, 2022 8:27 pm

Rare earth metals? Pfft. No one would be getting useful quantities of steel, alumin(i)um, copper, or silicon at net zero. The rare earth metals are essentially useless without the more common sort that is fossil-fuel expensive to produce and always taken for granted.

Robert of Texas
April 26, 2022 8:42 pm

So they took into consideration all of the battery farms for unreliable energy to last us 30 to 90 days, all vehicles including trucks, all heavy work trucks, all planes, ships, all other new uses of lithium batteries?

The numbers do not sound at all realistic. Maybe if they multiplied by 10 or so…

Iain Reid
April 26, 2022 11:32 pm

President von der Leyen saying this “The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency,”

the first part will not happen and linking hydrogen and efficiency in that sentence is laughable.
Efficiency is a good idea, if appropriate (Insulating old British houses to modern standards is not) but producing and storing green hydrogen is very inefficient and very wasteful.

Who advises politicians?

April 27, 2022 6:20 pm

The study notes that metals recycling, on average, saves between 35% and 95% of the CO2 compared with primary metals production.”

Really?
There are a lot of high quality refiners recycling lithium in Europe? Refiners that can cheaply maintain lithium purity levels?

Their recycling estimates appear based upon costs to recycle sorted steel and aluminum.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ATheoK
April 27, 2022 7:56 pm

Yup…big difference when it is lumps of elements such as a refined metal, than if is a low concentration of a chemical compound, such as the way lithium is used in batteries.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ATheoK
April 29, 2022 9:15 pm

Recycling can be tricky. Sometimes contaminants from a finished product create problems that are more difficult and expensive to solve than when starting with the common ore.

Last edited 20 days ago by Clyde Spencer
Gary
April 28, 2022 7:48 am

Europe wants to be independent from supplies of Russian gas and oil. I think that they should also be independent from supplies external to Europe for all these minerals they need to achieve their other goals. Mine it in Europe, you independent pompous asses!

Joe E
April 28, 2022 8:38 pm

So basically it’s not happening.

R Stevenson
Reply to  Joe E
May 1, 2022 3:21 am

Recycling technologies are far from easy to develop. Lead acid batteries for instance require many steps to reuse every component part. Dry battery recycling is complex and the Sumitomo/ Batrex plant in Spiez Switzerland may not yet be fully debugged and operational. Galvanised steel recycling generates steel plant dusts loaded with zinc requiring furnace/ zinc splash condenser combinations which are very difficult. Sump oil or used lube oil refining using steam distillation breaks down additives producing hydrochloric acid in the distillate requiring glass/ glass steel condenser systems. The list is endless .Primary zinc smelters which can also be run on 100% recycled zinc materials are shutting down in Europe on environmental grounds although leaching tests have shown that the granulated slags produced are safe to use in building projects. Separation of combined metals and other materials in finished products makes them very difficult to separate and recycle. Elctricarc/plasma arc and electric induction furnces have been developed but requre abundant cheap electrical energy to run.

R Stevenson
Reply to  R Stevenson
May 1, 2022 7:49 am

These recycling processes require experienced metallurgical, chemical, mechanical, electrical and civil engineers in this specific field – particularly the first two for any chance of success. I fear they are not there in sufficient numbers.

R Stevenson
May 1, 2022 7:34 am

Aluminium smelters because of the Alcan cells consume large amounts of electrical energy. Unless cheaper hydroelectrical power is available the smelters have closed. In the UK Rio Tinto’s Keyser aluminium smelter was forced to close by the green lobby even though it had a captive coal fired power station on site in Anglesey. In the UK there is no stopping this extreme left wing green lobby similarly in the US where even the Republicans seem to be powerless. In the UK the Tories are powerless and Boris Johnson has morphed into e Green Socialist and all the Prince of Wales wants to do is plant trees.

R Stevenson
Reply to  R Stevenson
May 1, 2022 7:40 am

correction – Al smelters have closed due to heavy electrical energy costs.

R Stevenson
Reply to  R Stevenson
May 1, 2022 10:32 am

Rio Tinto’s Al smelter in Scotland was also closed by Scottish Nationalists and Greens refusing the request for Scottish Powers ‘cheaper’ hydroelectric power. Scotland’s Bolshevik government refusing to supply any subsidized power.
Incidentally Rio Tinto also own Canada’s Alcan paying over the odds at the top of the cycle as the white knight purchaser when Alcan were about to be swallowed by the giant Alcoa. They almost bankrupted themselves being in turn saved from a chinese partial takeover by sacking the CEO and intervening with a gallant shareholder rights issue increasing the share base by 50%.

Trebla
May 4, 2022 4:46 am

I presume that this study is based on the conversion of the automobile fleet to 100% EVS. I see a growing number of Teslas in my area. These cars haul around more than a half ton of batteries, most of which capacity is unused on a daily basis. A far more practical approach would be the adoption of hybrids and plug-ins that take advantage of the best features of the internal combustion engine and battery powered propulsion without requiring massive amounts of rare metals. The Toyota Prius Prime hybrid gets over 60 miles per gallon. My Ford Escape PHEV has reduced my gasoline consumption by 85%. We need to think rationally. Fossil fuels are a precious resource we should use wisely.

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