The Bull Case for Every Energy Metal Going into 2019
The rapid emergence of the world’s renewable energy sector is helping set the stage for a commodity boom.
While oil has traditionally been the most interesting commodity to investors in the past, the green energy sector is reliant on the unique electrical and physical properties of many different metals to work optimally.
To build more renewable capacity and to store that energy efficiently, we will need to increase the available supply for these specific raw materials, or face higher costs for each material.
Metal Bull Cases
Ahead of Cambridge House’s annual Vancouver Resource Investment Conference on January 20-21, 2019, we thought it would be prudent to highlight the “bull case” for relevant metals as we start the year.
It’s important to recognize that the commodity market is often cyclical and dependent on a multitude of factors, and that the above cases are not meant to be predictive in any sense.
In other words, the facts and arguments above sum up what we think investors may see as the most compelling stories for these metals – but what actually happens in the market, especially in the short-term, may be different.
While we highlight 12 minerals ranging from copper to lithium, most of the raw materials in the infographic fit into four overarching, big-picture stories that will drive the future of green energy:
|Solar and Wind||The world hit 1 TW of wind and solar generation capacity in 2018. The second TW will be up and running by 2023, and will cost 46% less than the first.|
|Electric Vehicles||Ownership of electric vehicles will increase by 40x in the next 13 years, reaching 125 million vehicles in 2030.|
|Energy Storage||The global market for energy storage is rapidly growing, and will leap from $194 billion to $296 billion between 2017-2024.|
|Nuclear||150 nuclear reactors with a total gross capacity of about 160,000 MW are on order or planned, and about 300 more are proposed – mostly in Asia.|
Which of these stories has the most potential as a catalyst for driving the entire sector?
Based on these narratives, and the individual bull cases above, which metal has the most individual potential?
Let us know in the comments below, or visit Booth #1228 at #VRIC19.
Visualizing the Scale of Global Fossil Fuel Production
How much oil, coal, and natural gas do we extract each year? See the scale of annual fossil fuel production in perspective.
The Scale of Global Fossil Fuel Production
Fossil fuels have been our predominant source of energy for over a century, and the world still extracts and consumes a colossal amount of coal, oil, and gas every year.
This infographic visualizes the volume of global fossil fuel production in 2021 using data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
The Facts on Fossil Fuels
In 2021, the world produced around 8 billion tonnes of coal, 4 billion tonnes of oil, and over 4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
Most of the coal is used to generate electricity for our homes and offices and has a key role in steel production. Similarly, natural gas is a large source of electricity and heat for industries and buildings. Oil is primarily used by the transportation sector, in addition to petrochemical manufacturing, heating, and other end uses.
Here’s a full breakdown of coal, oil, and gas production by country in 2021.
If all the coal produced in 2021 were arranged in a cube, it would measure 2,141 meters (2.1km) on each side—more than 2.5 times the height of the world’s tallest building.
China produced 50% or more than four billion tonnes of the world’s coal in 2021. It’s also the largest consumer of coal, accounting for 54% of coal consumption in 2021.
|Rank||Country||2021 Coal Production|
|% of Total|
|#7||🇿🇦 South Africa||234.5||3%|
India is both the second largest producer and consumer of coal. Meanwhile, Indonesia is the world’s largest coal exporter, followed by Australia.
In the West, U.S. coal production was down 47% as compared to 2011 levels, and the descent is likely to continue with the clean energy transition.
In 2021, the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia were the three largest crude oil producers, respectively.
|Rank||Country||2021 Oil Production |
|% of Total|
|#3||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||515.0||12%|
OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia, made up the largest share of production at 35% or 1.5 billion tonnes of oil.
U.S. oil production has seen significant growth since 2010. In 2021, the U.S. extracted 711 million tonnes of oil, more than double the 333 million tonnes produced in 2010.
Natural Gas Production
The world produced 4,036 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021. The above graphic converts that into an equivalent of seven billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to visualize it on the same scale as oil and gas.
Here are the top 10 producers of natural gas in 2021:
|Rank||Country||2021 Natural Gas Production |
|% of Total|
|#8||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||117.3||3%|
The U.S. was the largest producer, with Texas and Pennsylvania accounting for 47% of its gas production. The U.S. electric power and industrial sectors account for around one-third of domestic natural gas consumption.
Russia, the next-largest producer, was the biggest exporter of gas in 2021. It exported an estimated 210 billion cubic meters of natural gas via pipelines to Europe and China. Around 80% of Russian natural gas comes from operations in the Arctic region.
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