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75. Lithium: "white gold rush" or the "limiting factor" - Redefining Energy podcast

image credit: Credit: Redefining Energy
Laurent Segalen's picture
CEO Megawatt-X

Laurent is a Franco-British financier, founder of Megawatt-X, the London-based global platform for Renewable Energy Assets. For the past twenty years, Laurent has been trading and managing...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Jun 1, 2022
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Elon Musk calls Lithium supply the “limiting factor” for electric vehicle adoption globally. Lithium is the key material for the Energy Transition and is currently enjoying a “white gold” rush.

The supply has significantly gone up multiple fold in the past seven years, up to 500,000t/y in 2022; still, demand is expected – according to Benchmark Minerals Intelligence – to grow another four to five-fold this decade.

The shortage of Lithium – whether real or perceived – has triggered a spectacular rise in the price of materials over the past two years. Spot prices of Lithium have gone up six-fold since 2020. And Lithium is not alone: Nickel, Cobalt, Graphite, every battery material has gone up. Basically, in 2020 you had 2,000USD of material in a Tesla battery, now it is closer to 6,000USD.  Are we going to run out of Lithium? Are they new places to mine, new players, new technologies which could come to the rescue?

We have invited Alex Grant, Principal at Jade Cove Partners, to assess all those challenges.

We call Alex the “Indiana Jones of Lithium and Battery materials”. Forbes 30 under 30, research affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Alex has an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering and tracks 70 different Lithium Extraction Technologies. Finally, he has a cool Twitter handle: @big_lithium. So, he is the man to interview!

We also have inserted an excerpt from Elon Musk conversation in the FT “Future of cars” that was held in May 2022 where Tesla’s CEO shares his views on the Lithium supply chain.

A salute to our main sources of knowledge in Lithium: Simon Moores at Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, and of course Joe Lowry aka “Mr Lithium”. Check them on LinkedIn

And thanks again and again to our partner Aquila Capital

 

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Thank Laurent for the Post!
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Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Jun 2, 2022

The limit of new Lithium has a very positive affect. It pushes the amount of recycling if we had lots of material at low cost we may become sloppy and waste spent batteries thinking it was not worth the work and energy. I like having limits so we find new low cost material and recycle like it matters. 

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