Mineral commodities play a vital role in the energy sector and that role will certainly increase with the transition to renewable energy technologies. Yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic has painfully highlighted, global supply chains of mineral commodities are susceptible to supply disruptions.
In a recently published article, Nedal Nassar and colleagues examine the risk of a mineral commodity supply disruption to the manufacturing sector in the United States. They identify a subset of commodities, including cobalt, tungsten, and the rare-earth elements, whose supply disruption poses the greatest risk.
This analysis will be the focus of the next installment of the joint Institute of the Americas and Payne Institute for Public Policy “Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition” webinar series.
This webinar event is brought to you by the Institute of the Americas ETI Program
For years, outside of large-scale hydroelectric projects, Argentina saw limited activity in the renewable energy space. That began to change with a major policy development in the latter part of Cristina Kirchner’s second term. In October 2015, Law 27191, “Legal Regulations on National Promotion for the Use of Sources of Renewable Energy to Generate Electric Power” was successfully passed and enacted.
With the advent of the law and from late 2015 through 2019, Argentina experienced a significant increase in renewable energy development. In particular, the RenovAr program provided a boost for renewables in Argentina and what has been acknowledged as a period of unprecedented growth recognized nationally and internationally.
While the RenovAr program remains in place and the sector’s activities continue to be underway, the ongoing policy evolution derived from last year’s election and political transition, the macroeconomic context, and the current pandemic and its impacts to the local economy, have resulted in strains and unresolved uncertainties for renewables in Argentina.
The world is accelerating decarbonization of the electric electricity and transport sectors. Most notable, perhaps, has been the growing use of batteries for storage and electrification of mobility, which in turn require an increasing supply of raw materials mined in a sustainable manner. This demands massive investment levels backed by policies that encourage public and private financing to attain a reliable supply chain.
While lithium is the material most commonly debated in the context of energy transition, energy storage devices include myriad other metals and raw materials. These critical materials are found throughout the Americas. But, investments needed to finance their extraction on a scale commensurate with growing demand forecasts does not seem to be a priority based on prices seen as of December 2019. This begs two key questions: Why aren´t large investors paying attention to the battery supply chain? How can policymaking help shift investors´ attention to fund extraction of raw materials? It is increasingly clear that more needs to be done to keep up with the fast deployment of intermittent renewables sources and electric vehicles.
Join us for the third installment of the joint Institute of the Americas and Payne Institute for Public Policy “Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition” webinar series.
The webinar will feature a presentation by Jesse Edmondson, Senior Partner at G&W Consulting and CEO of U.S. Critical Minerals LLC. He will share his perspectives as experienced geologist and advisor to mining and government entities on the opportunities and challenges for investors in the material supply chain for a decarbonized economy.
The webinar will be held Thursday, April 23 at 10 a.m. San Diego (12:00 p.m. in Houston, 1:00 pm Washington, DC, GMT/UTC – 8 hours). The Webinar will include a live Q&A session with the audience.
The contours of the global energy transition point to a growing role for critical minerals across several segments of the energy sector from batteries and storage to electric vehicles to key renewables such as solar and wind energy.
According to the US Department of State, demand for critical energy minerals could increase almost 1000 percent by 2050. Focused on the critical governance aspect of this rapidly evolving dynamic for the global energy sector, the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) launched the Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI).
ERGI is designed to promote sound mining sector governance and resilient energy mineral supply chains and counts three principal objectives:
Engage resource-rich countries on responsible energy minerals governance.
Support resilient supply chains.
Meet the expected demand for clean energy technologies
ERGI will be the focus of the next installment of the joint Institute of the Americas and Payne Institute for Public Policy “Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition” webinar series.
The global transition to a low-carbon economy will involve changes in material markets and supply chains on a hitherto unknown scale and scope. With these changes come numerous challenges and opportunities related to supply chain security and sustainability.
To investigate the increasingly interconnected nature of material needs, a diverse group of authors including policy experts, geologists, mining engineers, and energy specialists, collaborated to review academic publications, technical reports, legal documents, and published industry data. A broad set of concerns including technical challenges, material supply chain considerations, investment strategies, modeling problems, and environmental issues, were found to be potential material barriers to the successful adoption of low-carbon technologies.
The recently published review outlines policy recommendations for topical energy concerns, and together these recommendations serve to highlight the complex, interdisciplinary materials approach required for a low-carbon energy transition. Because of these challenges, adoption of low-carbon technologies, and achieving low-carbon emissions goals, might be more complex than initially anticipated.
Our first webinar will feature a presentation by Jordy Lee, Research Associate for the Payne Institute for Public Policy at Colorado School of Mines. He will share details from their analysis and policy recommendations to further inform discussion and debate surrounding key facets of the global energy transition.
The webinar will be held Thursday, April 2 at 10:00am San Diego (12:00 pm Houston; 1:00 pm Washington, DC; GMT/UTC – 8 hours). The webinar will include a live Q&A session with the audience.
The Western Hemisphere has long been home to some of the world’s largest and most abundant energy resources. More recently, the region’s important renewable potential and critical minerals have also emerged as part of the energy equation for the hemisphere and beyond.
In early March, the Atlantic Council, in collaboration with the United States Department of Energy, released a report that set forth a series of steps to create a revised approach to inform the energy outlook for the hemisphere. Indeed, as Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette wrote in the foreword to the report he has “a strong appreciation for the strategic importance of the Western Hemisphere to US prosperity, energy, and national security. As our closest neighbors and strongest trading partners, the energy and economic security of the hemisphere is critically linked to our own.”
The report sets forth a wide range of tools and steps to enact a new strategy; one that is long on cooperation and uniting the region’s policymakers. Perhaps most important are recommendations that seek to enhance energy policy cooperation across four major areas: 1) Energy Governance; 2) Supporting Access to Diverse Fuel Sources; 3) Modernization and Advanced Technologies; 4) Finance and Private Sector Engagement.