Why countries with the biggest renewable reserves will become the superpowers of tomorrow. The fossil fuel era won’t last forever – when it finally comes to an end a new set of countries will find their reserves of lithium, copper and rare metals are in high demand. The 20th century was dominated by coal, oil and natural gas, but a shift to zero-emission energy generation and transport means a new set of elements will become key. Solar energy, for instance, still primarily uses silicon technology, for which the major raw material is the rock quartzite. Lithium represents the key limiting resource for most batteries – while rare earth metals, in particular “lanthanides” such as neodymium, are required for the magnets in wind turbine generators. Copper is the conductor of choice for wind power, being used in the generator windings, power cables, transformers and inverters.
Independent 21st Feb 2018 read more »
The end of the era of cheap money is set to lead to Enron-style collapses of companies in the much-hyped global renewable energy sector, according to the chief executive of one of the world’s largest wind power producers. the chief executive of Spanish utility Iberdrola, said that new non-industrial entrants with little experience were making overly aggressive bids on contracts to build renewable energy, thinking its was a financial “el Dorado”. “Because money is so cheap, many people who have no talent in the sector have been coming with an extremely high level of leverage,” he told the Financial Times. “With the change of the rates, there will be a clean up of the sector.”
FT 21st Feb 2018 read more »