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Energy Transition Metals: Bottleneck for Net-Zero Emissions?

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Lukas Boer, Andrea Pescatori, Martin Stuermer

In: Journal of the European Economic Association 22 (2024), 1, S. 200–229


The energy transition requires substantial amounts of metals, including copper, nickel, cobalt, and lithium. Are these metals a bottleneck? We identify metal-specific demand shocks, estimate supply elasticities, and study the price impact of the transition in a structural scenario analysis. Prices of these four metals would reach previous historical peaks but for an unprecedented, sustained period in a net-zero emissions scenario, potentially derailing the energy transition. Their production value would rise nearly four-fold to USD 11 trillion for the period 2021 to 2040. These four metals markets alone could become as important to the global economy as the oil market.