Today.Az » World news » Turkish daily eyes changes in transition to clear energy
06 December 2021 [17:45] - Today.Az
By Vugar Khalilov
Turkey’s Yeni Shafak daily has described the changes, which will take place in energy sources in the near future as part of a transition to clean energy.
It was stressed that reducing the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions stands as the most urgent step before governments around the globe. As part of the global transformation, petroleum-natural gas trades will be replaced by valuable minerals such as lithium, cobalt, hydrogen, nickel graphite in the coming period.
In turn, these minerals, which are of critical importance in the transition to clean energy, have increased international competition and turned into a sphere of attraction for visionary investors.
According to the World Energy Outlook 2021 report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), of which Turkey is also a member, today's oil-gas trade may be replaced by lithium, cobalt, hydrogen and valuable minerals in the future. Demand for lithium, which will show the fastest growth among critical minerals, will increase 100 times by 2050. In the mentioned period, demand for cobalt, nickel, and graphite will rapidly grow.
Lithium, a rare metal from which lithium-ion batteries for mobile devices and electric vehicles are produced, is gaining great value in the automotive industry during the transition from petroleum to electric energy. Along with the European Battery Alliance, Europe is taking important steps to close the gap with Asia. China, which bought lithium companies in South America, has recently started investigations in Lithium-rich Afghanistan.
Turkey's first lithium production facility was opened in December 2020. Initially, 10 tons of annual production is expected at the facility in Eskisehir, while 600 tons of lithium will be produced once full capacity is activated. The facility will provide half of Turkey's lithium needs.
Cobalt is a very important material both in electric vehicles and in the development of lithium batteries, and the demand for this material is expected to double by 2030. The Democratic Republic of Congo with 3.6 million tons owns 52 percent of the world's cobalt reserves. This country is followed by Australia, Cuba and Zambia.
Moreover, there are 13 areas with cobalt licenses, eight of which are for exploration and five for operation in Turkey.
Nickel prices climbed to a 7-year high in September 2021. Nickel, one of the main materials used for electric cars batteries, is thought to be one of the most precious materials with the green transformation. The most important nickel deposits have been found in Australia, Brazil, Russia, the New Caledonian Islands, Cuba, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
In the 2000s, private sector initiatives in Turkey brought momentum to nickel mining. The known total nickel ore reserves are approximately 40 million tons, of which approximately 30 million tons are located in the Manisa-Caldag field.
According to Zion Market Research, the global graphene market is predicted to reach $190 million in 2022. Graphene is expected to revolutionize battery technology.
In March 2021, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank announced that Turkey is one of the 10 countries that produce a massive amount of graphene, which is 200 times stronger than steel and hundreds of times more conductive than copper. Research on graphene continues. It is most commonly used in solar cells, it functions as a battery in wearable electronic devices and is also used for cooling nuclear power plants.