There are certain metals which are currently used in low carbon technology, and may be in more demand in the future to help make cleaner/greener technology.
Summary – Metals Used In Renewable, Electric Car, and Low Carbon Technology
Metals are used in renewable energy, electric cars, and low carbon technology
Specifically, they can be used in wind energy, solar photovoltaic, CCS, nuclear, EVs, energy storage and electric motors
There’s particular metals that could see an increase in demand in the future in these types of technology
Just as one example – metals used in electric car batteries might be in higher demand as the number of EVs on the road continues to increase
Examples Of How Metals Are Used In Clean Technology
Just a few examples are:
Copper is used as a conductor for wind power
Indium and gallium are used in the coatings of photovoltaic film
Rare earth metals are used for a range of technologies from low-energy lighting and catalytic converters to the magnets used in wind turbines, EVs and computer hard-drives
Various metals are used in electric car batteries
Metals Used In Renewable Energy, Electric Cars & Electric Batteries
Metals used in the following technology types are:
Wind – Aluminum, Chromium, Copper, Indium, Iron (cast), Iron (magnet), Lead, Manganese, Molybdenum, Neodymium (proxy for rare earths), Nickel, Steel (engineering)
Solar Photovoltaic – Aluminum, Copper, Indium, Lead, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silver, Zinc
Concentrating Solar Power – Aluminum, Iron (cast), Silver
Carbon Capture & Storage – Aluminum, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Indium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel
Nuclear Power – Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Indium, Lead, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silver
Light Emitting Diodes – Aluminum, Chromium, Copper, Indium, Iron (cast), Lead, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silver, Zinc
Electric Vehicles – Cobalt, Copper, Manganese, Neodymium (proxy for rare earths), Nickel, Silver
Energy Storage – Aluminum, Cobalt, Iron (cast), Nickel
Electric Motors – Aluminum, Copper, Iron (magnet)
– carbonbrief.org, and documents.worldbank.org
In their article, Carbonbrief discuss the impact of using low carbon technology over time compared to conventional technology.
They take into account energy and environmental impact during extraction and production, but also water footprint, and lifetime carbon footprint.
Electric vehicles have lithium ion batteries which use rare earth metals, and lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite
Future Demand For Metals In Lower Carbon Technology
[In terms of wind, solar and energy storage batteries] … metals which could see a growing market include aluminum (including its key constituent, bauxite), cobalt, copper, iron ore, lead, lithium, nickel, manganese, the platinum group of metals, silver, steel, titanium, zinc, and rare earth metals including cadmium, molybdenum, neodymium, and indium.
It can be hard to definitively say which metals will be in most demand in the future though.
Technology and demand of the market can change with time.
Forecasts can be made though based on current technology.