The impending war over rare earths! A good find on the comments thread on the hydrogen bubble.
And here’s a further complication: for a number of the most critical materials, including lithium, cobalt,and those rare-earth elements, production is highly concentrated in just a few countries, a reality that could lead to the sort of geopolitical struggles that accompanied the world’s dependence on a fewmajor sources of oil. According to the IEA, just one country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo(DRC), currently supplies more than 80% of the world’s cobalt, and another — China — 70% of its rare-earth elements. Similarly, lithium production is largely in two countries, Argentina and Chile, which jointly account for nearly 80% of world supply, while four countries — Argentina, Chile, the DRC, and Peru — provide most of our copper. In other words, such future supplies are far more concentrated in far fewer lands than petroleum and natural gas, leading IEA analysts to worry about future strugglesover the world’s access to them.
Mark Mills made similar comments in his broad appraisal of the dangerous consequences of the Biden revolution.
He noted that replacing a standard car with an EV means a greater-than-tenfold increase in the quantity of material (liquids) that is used by a standard car over its entire operating life. Global mining already uses nearly twice as much petroleum as the entire country of Germany, and that’s before the emerging “gold rush” for energy minerals. The global push for EVs will drive up demand for a variety of other energy minerals from 200% to 8,000%.
The United States is, in general, 100% dependent on imports for 17 critical minerals, including those used in green machines, and over half of our domestic needs are imported for another 29.
Not to mention the 90% of solar panels and 80% of key components of wind turbines that are imported.
This means that buying green-machine components is essentially an export of both jobs and hydrocarbon consumption…For example, in 2018, the Netherlands’s government sponsored an analysis of mineral demands associated with its own green energy goals. The study concluded that following a “Green New Deal”-style plan in the Netherlands would require the country alone to consume a major share of current global minerals production.
And then there is the 5-minute video by Mark Mills. Practically says it all!
On the topic of Biden’s energy policies, check out the rank insanity of his offshore wind ambitions.
The idea is to generate some 30 gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of wind capacity by 2030, ensuring the U.S. “leads by example” in fighting the “climate crisis.” From a standing start, installing between 2,500 and 5,000 massive turbines. Not that the amount of power will be massive compared with the onshore demand.
The only existing U.S. offshore wind operation features five 6-MW turbines off Rhode Island. Their combined capacity (what they could generate if they worked full-bore, round the clock 24/7) is 30 MW. Mr. Biden is planning 1,000 times more offshore electricity, perhaps split three ways: 10,000 MW for each coast.
While that might sound impressive, it isn’t. It means total wind capacity for the entire Atlantic coast, under Biden’s plan, would only meet three-fourths of the peak summertime electricity needed to power New York City. Again, this assumes the blades are fully spinning 24/7. In reality, such turbines would be lucky to be operating a top capacity half the time. Even less as storms and salt spray corrode the turbines, year after year.
The reason why is there is often minimal or no wind in the Atlantic – especially on the hottest days. Ditto for the Gulf of Mexico. No wind means no electricity – right when you need it most.
Of course, too little wind isn’t the only issue. Other times, there’s too much wind – as when a hurricane roars up the coast. That’s more likely in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 had Category 4 winds in Virginia, Category 3 intensity off Cape Hatteras (NC), Long Island and Rhode Island, and Category 2 when it reached Maine. It sank four U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships.