Der Rohstoffhunger der grünen Revolution

Morgen ist wieder “Friday For Future”-Tag. Meine Meinung ist bekannt:

→ „Fridays For Future“: Demonstriert, aber bitte für Eure Zukunft!

Gern vergessen werden die Folgen des ökologischen Umbaus für die Ökologie an anderer Stelle. Und für die Rohstoffmärkte. Wie stark die Auswirkungen wären, zeigt dieser Kommentar aus der FT, der sich mit den Folgen für den Kupfermarkt beschäftigt:

  • “Most of the public debate about the Green New Deal has been on its supposed financial costs and redistributive effects compared to its benefits in reducing carbon emissions. (…) it is a 10-year plan to mobilise the economy and population that is explicitly grounded in wartime precedents. (…) However, even if you accept the need to urgently respond to human-caused climate change, and accept the redistribution of wealth and social priorities, the GND is not based on material reality.” – bto: ein Gedanke, der mich auch des Öfteren überkommt, wenn ich die Diskussion bei uns verfolge.
  • “Specifically, there are not enough available metals to carry it out. Clean energy may be ‘net-zero’ in terms of carbon emission but it is enormously more metals-intensive. For example, electric vehicles (EV) require copper not only for motors and batteries but for their charging infrastructure and the reinforcement of the electric transmission and distribution grid.” – bto: Wir hatten vom selben Autor schon die Aufklärung über die verheerenden ökologischen Folgen der Elektromobilität.
  • “(…) one estimate for the copper requirements just for the EV component of a net-zero economy from Paul Bledsoe of the Progressive Policy Institute, a green-energy advocate (shows) EVs require between 17 kg and 50 kg more copper per vehicle than fossil-fuelled internal combustion engines.” – bto: was einleuchtet und nicht mal nach viel klingt.
  • “Let us assume we could replace all 275m motor vehicles in the US with EVs and that we could recycle all the copper in the junked fossil-fuelled cars. The US would still require more than 4.6m tonnes of copper at the low end of the estimated net requirement, and 13m tonnes at the high end of the requirement. That means at least a third of all present US copper output, and as much as all of it, would go to building EVs.” – bto: Das ging, denn es bliebe ja noch etwas übrig.
  • “Some metals industry analysts believe these numbers underestimate the challenge. Paul Gait, a metals and mining industry analyst with Bernstein Research, says his base case for EV demand is 109kg per vehicle, or roughly five times as much as is now required by vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.” – bto: Naja, dann müssen wir halt Kupfer aus anderen Regionen der Welt beschaffen.
  • “The GND also explicitly incorporates a goal of rebuilding the transmission and distribution grid to accommodate the additional requirements for wider adaptation of wind, solar, and other renewables. It also aspires to a rebuilding of the US housing stock and the greening, that is, electrification, of the rail system.” – bto: Auch das ist ein enormes Ressourcenthema.
  • “The increases in energy efficiency in the net-zero plans require more efficient electric motors throughout the economy. However, improving such motors means increasing their proportional copper content. That is just physics at work, not greedy banks.” – bto: Eigentlich müssten die Bergbauaktien durch die Decke gehen bei diesen Aussichten.
  • “Finally, this is to be done, in the words of the GND resolution, ‘by enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labour and environmental protections . . . to stop the transfer of pollution and jobs overseas and to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States’. So the copper could not be imported. Existing mines would have to be expanded and new ones developed, quickly, to exploit known and estimated US resources.” – bto: Gut so, denn wo sollen wir denn sonst unseren Kupferbedarf decken!
  • “Apart from the increase in the price of cobalt in the past several years, the world’s metals markets have not been reflecting future increases in demand that would be generated by the US GND, or for that matter GNDs in the rest of the world. (…) replacing the world’s fossil-fuelled cars with EVs by 2050 would require three-and-a-half times the known nickel reserves, 125 per cent of cobalt reserves, and most of the known copper reserves. (…) Briefly, there are not enough metals to do the job. So we had better rethink the problem rather than commit to solutions that give wartime powers to state structures, or superprofits to suppliers.” – bto: Bei uns ist diese Frage schon nicht mehr denkbar.

→ (Anmeldung erforderlich): “America’s Green New Deal needs copper but is there enough?”, 22. März 2019