On November 15th, the UK "new scientist" weekly published issues issues "Strong excavation metal will shake clean energy revolution? "The article, the author is Graham Lawton. The full text is as follows: If the unofficial battle of the fossil energy lobby group is a diamond, baby, drill, can be renewable, baby, baby, dig.
If we have to achieve your climate objectives, there is a large number of new mines.
Realistic New Energy Needs Mass Minerals International Energy Services Fa That Berore said: Mineral is an indispensable raw material in the future clean energy system. If we trial out the future cleaning energy system, millions of electric vehicles, bus, windmills, solar panels require minerals to build.
Mass amount of minerals. He did not exaggerate his words.
The recent report of International Energy has shown that the world should want to achieve net zero carbon emission goals 2050, and the overall demand for so-called key minerals is 6 times.
These key minerals include lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel and rare earth elements, are raw materials that are critical to clean energy technology. This constitutes a major challenge to realize our clean energy dream. Although we don’t lack minerals, it is another matter to dig out of the mineral from the ground while do not have a monster that does not promote another environmental monster. In the final analysis, we have no choice.
British Energy Wisdom Carbon Tracking Consulting Company Strategist Jinsmir Bond said: We need to do this. But we need to do so as appropriate way, so as not to make a bad earth.
Countries require mineral environment cost high mining has been in the big earth scenery, although it is a necessary industry. According to Ridge Kran, the British Campine Mining Institute, the progress made in harvesting technology in human history is unpaid, but 99% of metal mining still relying on excavation of ore, and it is often necessary to clear a large number of jackets.
Then the ore must be processed, thereby producing a large amount of waste, approximately 1 billion tons per year, more than any other artificial waste.
Mineral mining and processing also cost a large amount of energy, the mining industry is one of the largest body emissions in greenhouse gas.
In 2018, the mining industry has reached 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the global emissions, about 10% of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The environment and social costs caused by mining have also been fully confirmed. A study of the mineral mining of Brazilian Ma Sun Yulin is found that only a mine environment can affect 70 kilometers in various directions.
Just as the world seeks to quit fossil fuel, the above facts let us stop thinking. Under the same conditions, clean energy technology requires much more minerals compared to its dirty opponents, regardless of battery, wind motors, solar panels or power delivery and distribution cables, they must use minerals as part. According to the International Energy Agency, in addition to iron and aluminum, the mineral required for electric vehicles is 6 times that of fuel cars; the minerals required by the sea wind power plant are 13 times the same power generation gas power plant.
The development of renewable energy power means that now generating an electric power consumable mineral is more than 50% over 2010. For some minerals, the demand will be higher.
Many parties have expressed the following concerns: In the process of competing for these minerals, we may offset the environmental benefits of cleaning energy transformation. In some cases, the concerns of environmental sustainability have become a major obstacle to filling mineral supply gaps. Taking Indonesia’s nickel as an example, most of the minerals are located or adjacent to the national park or other protected area.
Positive inscription is greater than the traditional minerals can be recycled, but Bond said that the environmental issues of green mineral booms should not be considerably equivalent to the environmental issues designed to solve it.
He said that the current energy system requires us to exploit and process 13 billion tons of fossil fuels each year, and the key minerals needed in the same situation are 43 million tons.
That is, one third, Bond said, saying that its environmental impact is more. Another analyst of the International Energy Department George, George, said that the reason for supporting clean energy is equally irritated on the ground gas emissions.
The full cycle of the electric vehicle is only half of the fuel vehicle, even if it is minimized and processed by the battery, the correlation of lithium, cobalt and nickel is calculated.
If the battery is inserted, the electric car’s carbon footprint will be halved.
The other green energy technology is basically true. In addition, fossil fuel consumption is consumed, and in fact, mineral resources can be reused, in many cases, can be repeatedly utilized.
With the further recovery of cobalt and nickel from the car scrap cell, the mining intensity in time should be lowered. But this can be achieved is an open problem.
The recovery of metal and other metals such as iron, aluminum and copper is quite mature, but other metals such as lithium and rare earth elements are still not, the International Energy Agency Tim Gold said this has to change.
International Energy Agency estimates, 2030 to 2040, minerals recovered in the supply chain are mainly copper, cobalt, nickel, and total lithium in waste batteries need to increase from about 1.2 million tons per year, roughly equivalent to total demand. 10% of the amount.
The International Energy Agency analyst is too Run (sound) that the most important thing is that the economy can make the recycling feasible. In order to do this, manufacturers need to design more easily recycled products, and political people need to encourage more effective waste collection and classification.
Gold believes that innovation can play a role.
The increase in photovoltaic demand has also pushed the demand for silver and silicon. In response, the manufacturer reduces the amount of the two in the solar panel, which may also extrude similar energy efficiency.
In addition, there is also a metal to replace another metal, especially the mutual replacement between rare earth metals, and rare earth includes 17 elements, many physical and chemical characteristics.
The problem to be solved is not only the only environmental crisis that greenhouse gas emissions is not human. The United Nations also specifies two other two: biodiversity is destroyed, waste and pollution. In both ways, the health certificate of mining is not ideal.
The mineral boom will only further increase these pressures.
In 2020, the research team of Laura Santer Leading in Queensland, Australia, accumulated global footprints that were operating and future expected to operate.
The study collected all the mines information in the world, a total of more than 10,000 seats.
The research team found that these mines have a total of more than 50 million square kilometers, exceeding one-third of the total land area, only Antarctica is surprised.
The study estimate, the impact of the mine on biodiversity is more than 50 kilometers around the direction, and this number is more conserved by Sant’s results in the Amaz Sun Yulin.
The research team also found that 31% of these affected land is recognized as a region where the biodiversity is reduced, and 8% is a regularly protected area. In each seven protected area, there is an existing or a mine.
In these mines that are put into operation or planned, more than 80% is or will produce key minerals of energy transformation.
Sant’s analysis is only a roughly pre-judgment of future mines possible position. Such analysis can be used to assist in the decision of mine site selection, thereby limiting the mine influence region of regional protection of ecological diversity.
Sant said: We have many opportunities to strategically invest in mining outside of these protected areas. However, even the protective biologist also admits that energy transformation has to be achieved, this is not just a climate angle. Mitigating climate change is one of the extreme an important actions for achieving global biodiversity protection goals. Sant said that we are not to make a way to continue to use fossil fuels. Australia James Cook University protects biologists Bill Lawrence say that it is necessary to balance, we try to make humans more sustainable while avoiding nature.
He said: This will be the ultimate ironic. Bond said, don’t choose, only on the steel wire.
The International Energy Agency’s road map lists six challenges: the government must enhance investor confidence; companies need innovation; the recycling must be increased; need to further ensure the safety of supply, may be the way of strategic reserves; manufacturers and consumers To strengthen coordination; environments and social standards must be enhanced.
Berol said, in the final analysis, all of us should find such a reality: on the issue of energy transformation, minerals are not a burst, but the components of the main events.