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.
Charted: The Safest and Deadliest Energy Sources
What are the safest energy sources? This graphic shows both GHG emissions and accidental deaths caused by different energy sources.
Charted: The Safest and Deadliest Energy Sources
Recent conversations about climate change, emissions, and health have put a spotlight on the world’s energy sources.
As of 2021, nearly 90% of global CO₂ emissions came from fossil fuels. But energy production doesn’t just lead to carbon emissions, it can also cause accidents and air pollution that has a significant toll on human life.
This graphic by Ruben Mathisen uses data from Our World in Data to help visualize exactly how safe or deadly these energy sources are.
Fossil Fuels are the Highest Emitters
All energy sources today produce greenhouse gases either directly or indirectly. However, the top three GHG-emitting energy sources are all fossil fuels.
|Energy||GHG Emissions (CO₂e/gigawatt-hour)|
|Natural Gas||490 tonnes|
Coal produces 820 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e) per gigawatt-hour. Not far behind is oil, which produces 720 tonnes CO₂e per gigawatt-hour. Meanwhile, natural gas produces 490 tonnes of CO₂e per gigawatt-hour.
These three sources contribute to over 60% of the world’s energy production.
Generating energy at a massive scale can have other side effects, like air pollution or accidents that take human lives.
|Energy Sources||Death rate (deaths/terawatt-hour)|
According to Our World in Data, air pollution and accidents from mining and burning coal fuels account for around 25 deaths per terawatt-hour of electricity—roughly the amount consumed by about 150,000 EU citizens in one year. The same measurement sees oil responsible for 18 annual deaths, and natural gas causing three annual deaths.
Meanwhile, hydropower, which is the most widely used renewable energy source, causes one annual death per 150,000 people. The safest energy sources by far are wind, solar, and nuclear energy at fewer than 0.1 annual deaths per terawatt-hour.
Nuclear energy, because of the sheer volume of electricity generated and low amount of associated deaths, is one of the world’s safest energy sources, despite common perceptions.
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