The world’s journey to a cleaner energy future will require a lot of metals and minerals. By mid-century, we will see a significant uptick in the amount of metals needed, as the chart based on BloombergNEF data above shows.
Volumes—represented by the different sizes of each of these bubbles—tell only one side of the story. The other side is how big of a role each metal plays in the transition itself.
For example, while clean energy technologies, such as power generation infrastructure, battery and storage equipment, require a high volume of steel, its use in this sector represents a small share compared to steel’s total demand in the overall economy.
In contrast, lithium volumes in the economy writ large are smaller, but most demand for the mineral by 2050 will be for the energy transition under a net zero scenario.