Alternative energy solutions are limited by shortages of minerals

The main limiting factor of mining is energy, and we reached peak oil production in 2005 and peak coal will be here soon

Ugo Bardi’s The Universal Mining Machine

 

High-Tech can’t last: Limited minerals & metals essential for wind, solar, microchips, cars, & other high-tech gadgets

China and Russia are already hoarding their rare metals

Byron King: Rare earth metals essential for high-tech, clean energy, national defense

China produces 90% of world-wide rare-earth metals

Palladium

At the rate we’re using metals up, even common ones  will be gone by 2100 or sooner:

300 Million Americans use 7 Billion Tons of minerals a year

How long will minerals last?

Most metals are not, and some can not, be recycled

Prices have shot up astronomically for metals  (If Julian Simon were alive, he’d have to return the $500 bet to Paul Erlich). Price increases for minerals that went up over 200% from 2000 to 2008:

  • 1206% Cadmium
  •   795% Molybdenum
  •   750% sulfur
  •   572% Selenium
  •   547% Vanadium
  •   227% Manganese
  •   266% Chromium
  •   247% Asbestos
  •   244% Oil (was $29 in 2000, $101 in 2008 — $110 in 2013)
  •   243% Antimony
  •   239% Tungsten
  •   230% Potash
  •   210% Mercury
  •   202% Thallium

Alternative energy depends on rare and depleting minerals:

Batteries are made of rare, declining, and imported minerals

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2 Responses to Alternative energy solutions are limited by shortages of minerals

  1. J.R. says:

    300 Million Americans use 7 Billion Tons of minerals a year

    How long will minerals last?

    Both are bad links!

    • energyskeptic says:

      I fixed the March 2007 300 million Americans need 7 billion tons link, not sure which other link was broken..