20 January 2023
by Sarah Morgan

Transition metals become US$10trln opportunity

The market value for key metals used in transition technologies will probably triple by 2050, according to BloombergNEF’s first Transition Metals Outlook.

Demand for key metals needed for the deployment of energy transition technologies, such as solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles will grow fivefold by 2050, under BloombergNEF’s Net Zero Scenario.

While, supply is constrained because of a lack of investment, increasing country risk toward mining, and ever more depleted reserves.

Country risk remains the key barrier to the development of new mining projects. This must be overcome to meet a net-zero future.

They forecast in 2050, metals demand from fossil-fuel based power plants (coal and gas) will account for less than 6% of total demand in power generation, in their Economic Transition Scenario. A drop from about 16% in 2022.

Meanwhile, metals consumption in renewables and battery storage more than doubles over the same period.

The energy transition requires significant investment in raw materials extraction. This coincides with a period of reduced investor confidence in mining.

Ashish Sethia, Global Head of Commodities, Energy and Environmental Markets at BNEF, says, 'The mining industry has a trifecta of challenges – raising supply, keeping costs low and reducing its environmental and carbon footprint at the same time. It is like solving a Rubik’s cube. Not easy but not impossible to do.'