The technical paper on Critical Materials for the Energy Transition emphasises that an accelerated energy transition requires a growing supply of critical materials, with IRENA’s World Energy Transition Outlook further elaborating on the importance of batteries for the energy transition.
As a key component in the transition, electromobility needs to become the dominant form of road transportation. Its success depends on the availability of affordable lithium-ion batteries. Stationary battery applications will also continue to grow; therefore, lithium supply needs to expand, and mining and materials processing industries need to be developed at an accelerated pace in a way that is both environmentally and socially sound.
This technical paper discusses the global lithium industry structure and major players. The paper examines supply and demand-side outlook, reflects on current costs changes and their further implications, the role the governments could play to de-risk lithium supply and delves deeper into the opportunities the innovation can play in reducing demand growth. Special attention is given to energy use and the CO2 emissions from lithium production and options for CO2 emissions reduction.