India’s Clean Energy Transition: Demand for Critical Minerals Expected to Soar

India is set to experience a significant surge in the demand for critical minerals essential for supporting its transition to clean energy, as per a recent study conducted by the Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP). The study, titled “Projecting Critical Mineral Needs for India’s Clean Energy Transition,” authored by CSEP Senior Fellow Rajesh Chadha and Associate Fellow Ganesh Sivamani, outlines the mineral requirements for various clean energy technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and battery energy storage systems (BESS) as part of India’s efforts to meet its climate action goals.

While India’s domestic supply of bulk minerals like iron ore and limestone is deemed sufficient, the country will need to import significant quantities of non-bulk critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite for the production of clean energy devices and electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The study projects that by the fiscal year 2025, India will require approximately 58 tonnes of lithium, 17 tonnes of cobalt, 52 tonnes of nickel, and 609 tonnes of graphite. These demands are expected to escalate by 2047, with lithium demand reaching 20,845 tonnes, cobalt at 5,914 tonnes, nickel at 18,599 tonnes, and graphite at 217,884 tonnes.

The researchers emphasize the importance of implementing strategies like recycling to reduce reliance on virgin ores, which could potentially save a significant amount of critical metals over the next few decades. Additionally, extending the lifespan of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects could also contribute to reducing mineral demand.

The study underscores the necessity for resilient strategies to ensure a stable supply of critical minerals as India works towards achieving its net-zero emissions target by 2070. It calls for exploring options like domestic extraction and processing of these minerals and fostering international cooperation for resource acquisition and technology sharing to support the clean energy transition.

The researchers highlight the need for continuous updates to these projections in light of technological advancements and policy changes. Securing a stable supply of critical minerals will be crucial for India’s clean energy transition and broader climate objectives.

By Saurav Anand, ETEnergyWorld

Published On Jun 7, 2024 at 07:00 AM IST

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