by Vijay Prashad – Alejandro Bejarano
Part 4 - A World of Lithium
In 2019, the benchmark Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s “Energy Storage Outlook 2019” report anticipated that by 2030, the price of the lithium-ion battery would drop dramatically, and that—as a consequence—renewable energy (solar and wind) plus storage of energy in batteries will expand exponentially.
By 2040, there is an expectation that wind and solar will produce 40 percent of world energy consumption, rather than the 7 percent it now produces. For this, demand for energy storage will increase.
“The total demand for batteries from the stationary storage and electric transport sectors is forecast to be 4,584GWh (Gigawatt hours) by 2040,” write the Bloomberg analysts, “providing a major opportunity for battery makers and miners of component metals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.” The current use is merely 9GW/17GWh.
The key point to emphasize here is that this will provide “a major opportunity” for “miners of component metals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.”
When Bloomberg’s analysts use a word like “miners,” they do not mean the Bolivian miners or the Congolese miners, but the transnational firms, such as Tesla and its chief, Elon Musk.
As far as Bloomberg and Áñez are concerned, South America is no longer to follow the resource nationalist project of Evo Morales; this is Elon Musk’s South America, a place for the neo-conquistadors to make money and leave behind them social carnage.