The dark side of the Electric Vehicle Revolution

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As the world in many places is turning to the renewable forms of energy, and we read regularly of the rampaging EV revolution spreading around the world, I would like to pose a question:  is there perhaps a dark side to this revolution that is being missed in all the enthusiasm of moving away from fossil fuels ??

Here are a few interesting figures about some of the new types of Renewable technology, courtesy of Paul Garvey from The Australian newspaper a couple of weeks ago....

"..The growth in electric vehicles and batteries is shaping as the next great growth catalyst for the resources sector and explains why the likes of Glencore and BHP are so excited about the energy ­revolution... for electric vehicles to represent 30 per cent of car sales by 2030, the world needs another 4.1 million tonnes of copper, an extra 1.1 million tonnes of nickel, and 314,000 ­tonnes of cobalt..." This between 25% and 400 % more of each of these, mined EACH YEAR from now on.

Car maker BMW needs ten times more Lithium and Cobalt over the next few years. Electric cars need four to five times the copper content of their petrol powered cousins. B.H.P officials expect 70% of new car sales globally will be electric by 2035...

tesla_batt_medium.jpg?v=1515485410

...that's 4 - 6 times more copper needed as now.      And hugely increased amounts of  Zinc and Nickel for their rechargeable Batteries. The picture above is of Tesla's new Giga factory in Nevada, designed to ultimately produce the world's whole current Lithium Battery production  EACH YEAR, to support THEIR production of 500,000 electric cars each year.

Once a Solar farm is built, you will never burn another pound of coal or a gallon of oil to produce that electricity...

gemasolar-2011-2_low_res_medium.jpg?v=14

...but, per unit of power generated, this CSP generation plant needs up to 4 times the steel, and 5-6 times the Plastics and Silicons needed by the same capacity LNG plant.

This southern US wind farm is part of a 140 MW generation system - all with Zero Carbon Dioxide emission for the next 40 years...

Kennedy_wind_park_medium.jpg?v=148783588

 

...but the high quality compound steels that make up the turbine blades require 3- 4 times the metals per electric unit than that of a coal or LNG fired power station.

So, while we reduce the amounts of fossil fuels used to power part of our world, including road transport, the world's big metal miners will be cutting numerous products out of the ground in ever increasing amounts to feed the massively growing, zero emission, Renewable Energy Industry, and doing it for decades to come, using more and more fossil fuel to achieve the targets.

Edited by Business Maps Australia
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There is a dark side and it makes the renewables industry very far from emission-free. There is no emission-free way to sustain life, not yet, not for a long time.

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