GB News: Liam Halligan rages at soaring energy costs
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine worsened an already crippling global fossil fuel energy crisis, as skyrocketing wholesale oil and gas prices pushed countries to look for alternative renewable sources of energy. For the EU, the shift to renewable energy is particularly dire as Russia, their main fossil fuel supplier, threatens to cut off oil and gas supply unless the fuel-starved bloc bends to its will.
However, Europe may suffer from major setbacks while trying to shift to renewables and end the energy crisis, as a report suggests that the continent risks running out of key materials used in the production of renewable energy.
In order to make renewable energy infrastructures like solar panels, energy-efficient batteries, and powerful wind turbines, countries need sufficient supplies of minerals like Lithium, nickel and other minerals that are collectively known as Rare Earth Elements.
A new report said that for the EU to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, it will need 35 times more lithium than it has today, along with 26 times more rare earth elements, twice as much nickel, and more aluminium.
This shortage of minerals in Europe could risk the bloc being too dependent on countries like China for their massive supply of Rare Earth Elements.
According to a report by the EU Commission, China produces 98-99 percent of all the “rare Earth elements” in the world.
Given China’s dominance in the supply of such minerals, Jason Kaplan founder and Director of Commodities Analysis and Insight Ltd, previously told Express.co.uk that Xi could use this monopoly to influence political pressure on countries like the UK and the EU.
While the report emphasises a dire need to build supply chains in Europe to overcome the shortfall, it offers a sliver of hope in the fact that many of the metals can be reused.
The report adds that by 2050, three-quarters of the batteries in vehicles made in Europe could use recycled metals.
In his keynote speech, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market highlighted “Europe is taking its industrial destiny into its own hands including the area of raw materials.”
Liesbet Gregoir, the lead author at KU Leuven, commented: “Europe needs to decide urgently how it will bridge its looming supply gap for primary metals.
“Without a decisive strategy, it risks new dependencies on unsustainable suppliers
“A paradigm shift is needed if Europe wants to develop new local supply sources with high environmental and social protections.
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“Today we don’t see the community buy-in or the business conditions for the continent to build its own strong supply chains.
“The window is narrowing; projects really need to be taken forward in the next two years to be ready by 2030”.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
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