‘Net Zero’ Will Mean a Mining Boom – by Daniel Yergin (Wall Street Journal – April 12, 2023)


But political instability will make it difficult to obtain all the minerals electric cars will need.

California made a stunning decision last year—that by 2035 all new cars sold in the state must have at least 2½ times as much copper as conventional cars today. That’s not literally what the mandate said, of course, but it’s the practical effect of ordering all cars to be electric in the next 12 years.

“Big Shovel” will compete with “Big Oil” as mining ramps up to supply the vast increase in a wide range of minerals that energy transition requires. But getting everything that will be needed will be tough.

The drive toward energy transition will increase demand for lithium, cobalt and other minerals many times over. An offshore wind project uses nine times the minerals of a natural-gas-fired power plant of the same generating capacity.

As countries roll out targets for “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, it’s becoming clear how difficult it will be to source this huge increase in minerals. The U.S. and Japanese governments, the European Union and a host of multilateral organizations have issued alarming reports about the magnitude of the challenge.

For the rest of this article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/net-zero-will-mean-a-mining-boom-electric-cars-minerals-oil-fossil-fuels-climate-change-policy-cb8d5137