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Some inconvenient questions. Open letter to the politicians responsible for the Ecological Transition, in Spain and in Europe

Illustration by Kano

(First published at the author’s blog. Translated with permission by Amelia Burke / Fabricants de Futur.)

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am writing to you with the intention of raising a series of relevant questions regarding the current effort to undergo an Ecological Transition that must achieve the total decarbonization of Spain and Europe by 2050. With regard to what I have read on the subject, including the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law itself, there are certain obscure points in the announced plans that I think should be clarified, due to their great relevance.

Allow me to get straight to the point. These are the questions:

1.- We know that a large amount of critical material will be needed for the large-scale deployment of renewable energy systems intended to be implemented. We also know that there is not enough material to allow such deployment on a global scale. Do you contemplate an alternative plan, in case of materials being in short supply when the time comes? In short, is there a Plan B for the Energy Transition?

The issue of the shortage of critical materials for the renewable transition has been well known for quite some time. A few days ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report on these materials, in which some curious things were shown. The most prominent are shown in these graphs, especially the one on the right.

Mineral demand for clean energy technologies

As you can see, the annual extraction of lithium is expected to multiply by 42 by 2040; graphite by 25; cobalt by 21; nickel by 19 and rare earths by 7. Please note that the IEA is not saying what will happen: it is saying this is what needs to happen, which is very different. However, is that increase possible?…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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