Updated: 2 days ago
The world has faced devastating natural disasters this week from the earthquake in Morocco to the floods in Libya with unspeakable death tolls. While the causes of natural disasters are not always known and rely on the opinions of scientists, climate change is often cited as an aggravating factor in these events. Whether you believe that climate change is entirely man made, a function of a constantly evolving planet or a combination of both, the move towards renewable energies is here to stay.
The EU voted this week to a legally binding target of 42.5% of all EU energy must be renewable by 2030. This replaced the current target of 32%. The UN released a report on ways governments can coordinate with each other to further their 17 climate related goals.
There is no question the United States is facing a food crisis with the drought in the Western part of the United States and the lack of locally sourced produce in most areas of the country. Tufts University’s Food Nutrition Innovation Institute recently released a report detailing the massive investments being made in this area. Over $8 billion in capital has been committed in Massachusetts alone.
Lithium is the primary source for electric vehicle batteries. While supply is able to meet demand at the current time, industry experts expect demand to outpace supply as early as 2025. Lithium is primarily sourced from South America which is somewhat concerning given Chile's recent decision to nationalize their Lithium reserves. This is causing investors to be cautious in their approach to investing in international mines. International mines were seen as a great opportunities for many investors given their proven reserves and lack of regulation which often results in cheaper mining. This should cause an influx of capital into US mines.
This week there were two important developments that could potentially effect the Electric Vehicle battery space. First, a new study of an area located near the Oregon and Nevada border indicates what could possibly the largest Lithium reserves in the world. This potential windfall is not without its challenges given the immense cost and time needed to open new mines. Furthermore, opening a mine in this area would cause significant water supply issues in addition to endangering animals. Lastly, this land is also the site of a bloody massacre in 1865 of the Pauite Tribe and considered sacred land by the indigenous community.
Secondly, a Canadian based study was released on the feasibility of using Zinc-ion batteries as an alternative to Lithium-ion batteries. Zinc is more abundant than Lithium with domestic sourcs available. This could be a game changer for the EV business and also mines with rich Zinc deposits.
CPI released this week indicated inflation rose in August by 0.3% although most economists believe the Fed will hold industry rates steady at their next meeting. Driving inflation is energy prices as oil topped $90 per barrel for the first time since November 2022.