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Renewables. It’s time for some myth-busting.

Renewables. It’s time for some myth-busting.


The energy transition is increasing the need for raw materials. A key role is played by copper, for example, which is among the most widely used materials for energy infrastructure, including renewable energy infrastructure; the same goes for other materials, such as nickel and lithium. According to data from the IEA (International Energy Agency), the reserves we have of raw materials like copper, lithium and nickel – but also of other materials – are sufficient for the energy transition.

For example, it is estimated that the more than 750 million tons of copper reserves that can already be mined today for a low cost, will cover 30 times the average annual demand needed for the energy transition between now and 2030 (estimated to be about 25 million tons per year, 25% higher than today). Consequently, for the next 30 years, the demand for copper can be largely supported by the reserves that have already been identified.

In general, great importance will be placed on both extraction projects that have already been initiated but also on the new investments that will be required in this regard.

The mechanisms of supply and demand should also be taken into account, since as demand increases and prices go up, the search for new raw material reserves and better prices typically intensifies. In addition, when the price of a resource rises excessively, technological development leads to its substitution with other raw materials that are less expensive: batteries are a good example of this, where innovation related to the use of materials moves very fast and we are witnessing continuous technological evolution.

Finally, a key role will also be played by innovative material recycling projects, which will aim to make materials available for the construction of renewable plants. It’s through these projects and new investments that it will be possible to diversify where materials come from so that the production chain becomes more stable and resilient.

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