Among the different minerals, lithium saw the sharpest increase in investment, a jump of 50%, followed by copper and nickel. While the report does not specifically mention Uganda, the country is believed to have these critical minerals in plenty.
market for minerals that help power electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar
panels and other technologies key to the clean energy transition has doubled
in size over the past five years, according to a new report
International Energy Agency.
The report by Earnest and Young -EY found that energy transition has picked
up momentum, driven by a global regulatory push, changing stakeholder
expectations, evolving customer behaviors and new emerging technologies.
It said by 2030, electric vehicles are
expected to make up nearly half of the global light vehicle sales, and significant
investment is planned for charging infrastructure.
In addition, the
International Energy Agency -IEA is forecasting a doubling of renewable energy
capacity under its Stated Policies Scenario (STEPs) by 2030 and a whopping 291% increase by 2050.
Under the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, renewable capacity is
expected to increase by almost six times by 2050.
first annual IEA Critical Minerals Market Review
, released on Tuesday today
along with a new online data explorer
that record deployment of clean energy technologies is propelling huge demand
for minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper.
2017 to 2022, the energy sector was the main factor behind a tripling in
overall demand for lithium, a 70% jump in demand for cobalt, and a 40% rise
in demand for nickel.
market for energy transition minerals according to the report reached USD 320
billion in 2022 and is set for continued rapid growth, moving it increasingly
to centre stage for the global mining industry. Investment
in critical mineral development rose 30% last year, following a 20% increase
the different minerals, lithium saw the sharpest increase in investment, a
jump of 50%, followed by copper and nickel.
strong growth in spending by companies on developing mineral supplies
supports the affordability and speed of clean energy transitions, which will
be heavily influenced by the availability of critical minerals.
Energy Agency, Executive Director, Fatih Birol described this as a “pivotal moment for clean energy transitions worldwide”.
are encouraged by the rapid growth in the market for critical minerals, which
are crucial for the world to achieve its energy and climate
goals," he said.
however said even with the growth, major challenges remain.“Much
more needs to be done to ensure supply chains for critical minerals are
secure and sustainable,” said Birol.
report found that if all planned critical mineral projects worldwide are
realised, supply could be sufficient to support the national climate pledges
announced by governments.
of supply also remains a concern, with many new project announcements coming
from already dominant countries.
Compared with three years ago, the share of
the top three critical mineral producers in 2022 either remained unchanged or
increased further, especially for nickel and cobalt.
the Critical Minerals Market Review 2023
is the new IEA Critical Minerals Data Explorer
an interactive online tool that allows users to easily access and navigate
the IEA's data and projections for critical minerals.
its initial version, the tool provides users with access to the IEA's demand
projections under various scenarios and technology trends. Supply-side
information will be added in future updates.
Exploration spending also rose by 20%
in 2022, driven by record growth in lithium exploration.
Canada and Australia led the way with over 40% growth year-on-year,
notably in hard-rock lithium. Exploration activities are also expanding
in Africa and Brazil. Lithium stood out as a clear leader in exploration
activities, with spending increasing by 90%.
While the report does not specifically mention Uganda, some of the
critical minerals like cobalt are present in different parts of Uganda awaiting
There is copper and cobalt around Kilembe in Kasese. Canadian firm
Falconbridge previously mined copper from Kilembe but it stopped due to the then-low copper prices. Other cobalt sites have been identified in the
Uganda also has many parts dotted with uranium from which the
government plans to produce nuclear energy.
Uranium also experienced a significant surge in spending by 60% due
to renewed interest in nuclear power amid concerns over Russian supplies.
Nickel was a close follower with a 45% the growth rate for
exploration, led by Canada, where high-grade sulfide resources, proximity to
existing infrastructure, and access to low emissions electricity create
attractive investment opportunity.
The IEA report also indicates that battery
sector is undergoing transformative changes with the emergence of new
Global battery demand for clean energy applications increased by
two-thirds in 2022, with energy storage becoming a growing part of the total
Demand for batteries in vehicles outpaced the growth rate of
electric car sales as the
average battery size for electric cars continued to rise in nearly
every major market.
The trend of favouring larger vehicles seen in conventional car
markets is being replicated in the EV market, posing additional pressure on critical mineral supply
The report found that Sodium-ion batteries witnessed a leap
forward in early 2023, with plans for production capacity exceeding 100 gigawatt-hours,
primarily concentrated in China.
Initially, companies are targeting less demanding applications
such as stationary storage or micro-mobility for this technology and it remains
to be seen if it will be able to meet the needs
range and charging time.