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- Richard Adkerson
The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is disrupting the status quo. Capturing and distributing renewable energy and the shift to electric vehicles will drive soaring demand for the required minerals as the global economy undergoes consequent restructuring. The scale and speed of the mineral supply needed to meet surging demand will pose challenges, potentially delaying adoption of new low carbon technologies. Copper exemplifies the issues facing policymakers: a metal used across the value chain—in power transmission, renewable electricity generation, EV production, batteries, etc. Mounting issues around access, availability, and price may prove problematic to energy transition. Will government policies and climate goals amplify demand for copper, cobalt, nickel, lithium, rare earths, and other minerals? Will regulatory hurdles hamper investment? How severe might the mismatch between mineral supply and future demand be, globally and in the United States? How will these challenges influence the speed and direction of energy transition? How will geopolitical vulnerabilities affect production?