The Energy Transition: Mineral Demand for a Low-Carbon Future

Michelle Heath

Mining Series:

The Minerals Market  |  Metals for the Energy Transition  |  Mining Emissions  |  Deep-Sea Mining

Critical minerals

In a World Bank study examining mineral demand for the energy transition, the technologies involved in the clean energy shift such as wind, solar, hydrogen and electricity systems are significantly more material intensive in their composition than current fossil-fuel-based energy supply systems. 

For certain, the demands of a low-carbon energy shift are dependent on a robust and sustainable mining and metals industry.

Mineral resource development must be recognized as a “complement and not a competitor, to a greener more sustainable future”.

-World Bank

The energy transition will consume significantly more metals than we currently use to shift from fossil fuels to renewables and carbon capture technologies.


Sovacool, Benjamin K. and Ali, Saleem and Bazilian, Morgan and Radley, Ben and Nemery, Benoit and Okatz, Julia and Mulvaney, Dustin R,   (January 3, 2020). Science 367 (6473) (January 3, 2020), pp. 30-33