Showing posts with label Lithium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lithium. Show all posts

Monday, January 3, 2022

Few Things to Know About Our Current Energy Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewables.

In a discussion hosted by Bridgewater Associates (the world's largest hedge fund), Daniel Yergin discussed the current energy transition, geopolitics, and government. Daniel Yergin emphasizes a few things about our energy transition:

  • Energy transition to oil from coal took nearly a hundred years. 
  • Instead of trying to control oil supplies, now we are trying to control materials used in batteries and solar panels. Increasing lithium and cobalt prices pose a challenge for electric vehicles. 
  • Electric vehicles may need subsidies to make them affordable. 

Governments can offer subsidies, but the loss of revenue due to the subsidies need to be compensated by higher taxes, lower social benefits, or higher deficits. The world is grappling with excessive debt levels and does not have the flexibility to take on more deficit spending. Take the example of Japan, where the outstanding government bonds have crossed one thousand trillion yen for the first time.    

You can watch the Daniel Yergin discussion on YouTube.  

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Energy Transition will be Messy and Expensive. Hold on to Your Barrel of Oil for Now.

Many people anticipate that electric vehicles will win the transportation race and replace the internal combustion engine. Many journalists and energy experts have been warning for a while that the transition from fossil fuels to renewables will be messy. Daniel Yergin says that we are in an energy-mix era

Lithium - one of the critical materials used in batteries - is in short supply, and its prices have increased by 5x. Electric vehicle battery costs are set to increase for the first time in a decade. 

Meanwhile, European Union is beginning to realize that they cannot simply abandon nuclear power and still keep the lights on. They plan to classify nuclear power and natural gas as "green" power sources. In my opinion, there is no such thing as fully green energy. For example, lithium mining and mining for other materials in producing an electric vehicle are damaging to the economy. The world needs good recycling technology to create a circular economy and minimize emissions and environmental damage.       

General Motors Ultium Battery and Global Vehicle Platform for Electric Vehicles.
(Source: General Motors)

The surge in oil prices in the past year, coupled with the reluctance of oil companies to invest in new oil discoveries, could lead to higher energy prices and even an energy shock. This lack of investment in new oil supplies could increase inflation.   

The Industrials Sector is on a Tear

 The Vanguard Industrials Index ETF ( VIS ) touched a 52-week high of $202.86 on Friday, June 16 (Exhibit 1) .   Exhibit 1: Vanguard Industr...