According to the newspaper, in 2009-19 the average price of solar panels fell by almost 90 percent, thanks to which solar energy began to compete with coal energy. In the last decade, the technology of producing lithium batteries and wind turbines has also become cheaper.
However, in the ‘inflationary’ year of 2021, the world experienced a price shock to many minerals and materials. Green energy shows a break in the trend, it does not become cheaper
– notes “DN”.
The data cited in the article show that the price of polysilicon, a raw material used in large amounts in solar energy production, has quadrupled since the beginning of 2020. The prices of aluminum and copper, which are essential in electrical technology and, above all, in wind energy, have also risen sharply. Wind turbines and solar panels have increased by 10 to 25 percent.
A similar trend, the newspaper points out, is in the case of lithium batteries, which, in addition to lithium, contain several expensive minerals: copper, nickel, manganese, and cobalt. In 2021, the price of lithium carbonate has increased sixfold, the price of cobalt has doubled and the price of nickel has increased. Thanks to more economical chemical formulas, car batteries were still slightly cheaper last year, but the forecasts for this year point to an increase for the first time.
According to the estimates of the International Energy Agency (IEA) high commodity prices from last October may increase the prices of all investments in the energy transition by 5 to 15 percent.
– In practice, climate friendly alternatives can be more difficult to compete with fossil technology. For example, the price of lithium batteries has to be even lower for the purchase of an electric car to be profitable compared to the gasoline and diesel model
– notes the newspaper.
– Commodity prices tend to rise and fall in the long run. We are probably at the beginning of a period of high prices – he forecasts.
According to the newspaper, this growth will be fueled by green investments, but it will also become painful due to restrictions on the extraction of minerals in countries that want to introduce higher standards in environmental protection. In Chile, the world leader in the production of copper and lithium, the new president intends to limit the creation of new mines.
Another example of “green inflation” given by “DN” is the current energy crisis in Europe related to record gas prices.
– It is a fossil fuel that many countries intend to use in their transition from coal energy. The indications are that gas prices will remain high throughout the entire period of the energy transition, the daily notes.
Source: Dagens Nyheter, niezalezna.pl