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PEI Connect: Mining the minerals to drive energy transition

PEi Connect provides a brief look at what got our attention during the week (05 Aug-12 Aug), and first up we consider whether deep-sea mining is a necessary tool to achieve global energy transition.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Is deep-sea mining an option?

As the energy transition gains pace, driving the uptake of renewables and electric vehicles, the need for minerals such as copper, lithium, and cobalt will only increase. Proponents of deep-sea mining suggest that the best way to ensure supply meets demand is to tap sea bed for these minerals.

A thought-provoking article by EcoWatch considers research published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Scientists suggest that we can both preserve marine biodiversity and avoid fossil fuels by making different choices about how new technologies are designed and used. Read more.

Image: Stock

Digging deep for Lithium

Continuing with the theme of mining for minerals, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is researching an emerging geothermal technology known as direct lithium extraction (DLE), which extracts lithium from underground brine.

DLE could be a game-changing extraction method, according to an NREL statement, potentially delivering 10 times the current US lithium demand from California’s Salton Sea known geothermal area alone. Read more.

Code red for humanity

The big news this week was the release of the Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that issued some stark warnings about the rate of warming being experienced around the globe. The report uses science and data to show the correlation between human industrial activities and the rise of emissions. But will this be enough to spur the urgent action being required? Will we indeed see fossil fuels being pushed to the side? Only time will tell and we are apparently running out of time.

Solar-powered pandamonium

Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

In a good news story, in the city of Datong, north China’s Shanxi Province, hundreds of thousands of photovoltaic panels form the shape of giant pandas on the top of mountains, signalling the city’s shift to clean energy.

According to People’s Daily Online, Datong used to be the country’s ‘coal capital’ but is now home to a panda-shaped photovoltaic power station consisting of 170,000 photovoltaic panels, which lies on saline-alkali land near the outskirts of the city. Take a look.

Connect with us next week for another selection of interesting sector news.

Until then, take care, stay safe and power on.

The PEi Ed team 🙂

Pamela Largue
Pamela is a senior content creator and editor and has been a part of the Clarion content team for over seven years. She specializes in international power and energy-related content.