Don't Throw Caution to the Wind: In the green energy transition, not all critical minerals will be goldmines

Toledano, Perrine; Brauch, Martin Dietrich; Kennedy, Solina Rose Levine; Mann, Howard

The green energy transition will be exceedingly mineral intensive. Manufacturing solar panels, wind turbine and batteries to power cleaner energies is set to significantly increase the demand for co-called “critical” minerals. Such a forecast prompts high expectations in mineral-rich countries and suggests promising opportunities for developing countries. However, the projects to increase the primary extraction of critical minerals rest on bullish forecasts and uncertain terrain due to a number of factors explored in the paper that threaten to leave these investments obsolete and economically stranded. Governments, international actors, and mining advocates seeking to optimize the value of green energy mineral reserve should heed caution when pursuing and promoting the mining of critical minerals. We provide specific recommendations in the paper.


  • thumnail for Dont-Throw-Caution-to-the-Wind.pdf Dont-Throw-Caution-to-the-Wind.pdf application/pdf 650 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
July 8, 2020