Energy shortage hastening demand for transition metals
The lack of energy in Europe and the UK is expected to boost the demand for metals needed to build a green transition, speakers said at a conference in Cornwall today.
The urgency to move away from fossil fuel dependence was highlighted by the need to address the energy shortages caused by the fuel and oil price shocks.
The rise of electric vehicles has been accelerating since 2021. According to Jeremy Wrathall, the recent fuel shortage has also boosted the number of people looking for EVs online.
Rising commodity prices have highlighted the need for regional supply chains. Due to the severe shortages in certain raw materials, many countries are now pushing back against the restrictions imposed on them by the EU.
The world's supply chains are being re-examined due to current geopolitical tensions, according to Rob Wrathall. According to the former head of mining at Covid-19, there's a huge amount of metals that can be found in Cornwall.
In the UK, rules of origin have been in place since the departure of the EU. This means that by 2027, over 50% of all EV components must be made in the UK in order to get exported to the EU without any import duties.
Richard Williams, the president of Cornish Metals, said that sourcing materials from the UK was attractive due to its proximity to London and the government's support for the economy. He also noted the increasing demand for ethical products.
Western Australia is producing a third of the world's lithium, which means it's behind in the UK and needs to catch up.
According to Smith, who is the managing director of Cornwall's lithium production, the industry can still be more sustainable than that of Australia.