The market value for key metals required for energy transition technologies such as solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles will likely triple by 2050, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) first Transition Metals Outlook.
Under the research firm’s Net Zero Scenario, demand for key energy transition metals will grow fivefold by the middle of the century.
Supply, however, remains constrained, with country risk seen as the main barrier to new mining projects.
“The mining industry has a trifecta of challenges – raising supply, keeping costs low and reducing its environmental and carbon footprint at the same time. It is like solving a Rubik’s cube. Not easy but not impossible to do,” Ashish Sethia, global head of commodities, energy and environmental markets at BNEF, commented on Wednesday.
BNEF expects metals demand from fossil-fuel based power plants to decline to less than 6% of total demand in power generation in 2050, under its Economic Transition Scenario, from about 16% in 2022. At the same time, metals usage in renewables and battery storage is projected to more than double over this period.
The figures below from BloombergNEF shows market value and share of transition metals demand for 2022 and 2050:
BloombergNEF note: ETS is economic transition scenario, and NZS is net zero scenario. Energy transition includes power generation, battery storage, power grids and transport sectors. The outer circle for volume represents the share of energy transition in overall demand for each metal. Market value in 2050 is based on the 10-year historical average price of the metals. Nominal dollar value in 2050 is discounted by a 2.75% annual rate. This is in line with the average rates for major economies where demand is concentrated.
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