Despite what we often hear, the energy transition is not as simple as building solar panels and wind turbines everywhere. It requires an overhaul of some of the key systems underpinning our economy, minerals being one of them.
In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) takes stock of which and how much mineral resources we’ll need as we decarbonise the world’s energy architecture.
I spoke with Jagabanta Ningthoujam, manager with RMI-India, who specialises on electricity, batteries and hydrogen. Formerly associated with the World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining Facility, he discusses the global race for mineral access through an Indian perspective.
Why does the energy transition need minerals? What minerals in particular?
Jagabanta Ningthoujam: Building anything requires materials. Energy infrastructure is not unique – this was true for fossil fuel technologies and it is true for clean technologies. What is different though are the kind of metals and minerals required and the impact this transition will have.
Traditional fossil fuel technologies for electricity generation require mostly metals like iron and steel, copper, aluminum and chromium. While clean energy technologies like solar, wind and energy storage need these metals too, they also require many more technology specific metals and minerals.
For the rest of this article: https://science.thewire.in/environment/what-impact-will-indias-clean-energy-shift-have-on-its-minerals-economy/