NIMBYism Is Global, And That’s A Problem For The Energy Transition – by David Blackmon (Forbes Magazine – January 23, 2022)

It’s one of the grand ironies in the whole energy transition narrative: The same class of left-leaning activists who promote wind and solar and electric vehicles (EVs) as the solution also oppose the mining of the lithium and other critical minerals necessary to make them work.

EVs cannot displace internal combustion engine autos without lithium. The EV industry has irrevocably tied itself to lithium-ion technology for its batteries: Without plentiful and affordable supplies of lithium, the industry will fail.

That is just reality – it is not arguable. Similarly, wind and solar energy cannot displace natural gas or coal or nuclear power in the electric generation sector without an enormous increase in battery storage capability. Currently, the technology being deployed is mainly lithium-ion, though companies are working on scalable alternatives.

How much lithium is needed? The International Energy Agency admitted in a report last summer that, to meet its climate change goals, lithium demand must rise by 900% by 2030 and 4,000% by 2040. Much of current lithium supply is sourced by capturing it from water via a very slow evaporation process that often takes years to complete.

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