World Mining for Renewables (7 of 20): METALS for SOLAR PV Global Marketplace
This post is the seventh edition of a 20 posts collection with the analysis in describing the connection of Solar PV world market with the mining industry (extractive industries). We will check the production of metals, industrial and construction minerals to build solar modules and windmills around the world. In the end of the article, you can find the links to the other four articles of the collection.
For the next 5 years (2028 - 2022), Solar PV marketplace will require 47.11 million tones of metals
In the following article, we will analyze specific metals and industrial minerals, however, in the present article, we are focused on the requirements for major families of minerals to build world solar PV and wind energy facilities.
Tones of Materials
In the next 5 years (2018 – 2022), the global solar PV market will require a large number of mining products, next table illustrates the case of major metals:
In summary, Solar PV marketplace will require 47.11 million tones of metals and 17.11 million tones of metallurgical coal:
- 3.4 million tons of Polysilicon meaning the 7.26% of total metals.
- 34.4 million tons of Iron Ore, up to 73.02% of total metals.
- 9.29 million tones of Aluminium, meaning the 19.71 % of total metals.
- 3.42 million tones of Copper, 7.26% of total metals.
- 15.5 million tones of Silver, 10% of total world production
Metals for Solar PV Market Size for the 2018-2022 period
Based on November 2017 market commodity prices, the size of the metals products for solar PV market by the period 2018 – 2022 (both included) will be up to:
- 109,487 USD million distributed in …
- Polysilicon: 63,313 USD million meaning the 54.68% of total metals.
- Iron Ore: 2,443 USD million, up to 2.11% of total metals.
- Aluminium: 19,609 USD million, meaning the 16.94% of total metals.
- Copper: 24,114 USD million, 20.83% of total metals.
- and 2,567 USD million for Metallurgical Coal
Market evolution (2015 – 2022)
The following image illustrates the market evolution of these metals from 2015 to 2022 and increases by 2.21 times.
Major metals requirements for Solar PV market results (2015-2022):
- Iron Ore: 3.5 (2015) to 7.91 million tones (2022)
- Aluminum 0.96 (2015) to 2.14 million tones (2022)
- Copper: 0.37 (2015) to 0.78 million tones (2022)
- Silver: 1.6 to (2015) 3.56 tones (2022)
- Metallurgical Coal: 1.8 (2015) to 3.9 million tones (2022)
1. Determination of composition for Wind Energy material Components
Following two images, source IRENA 2017 data and Vestas 2015, we build an equivalent matrix between tonnes of minerals and metals with MWp for solar and wind energy facilities. Plastics are included in the division of «oil derived products»,
Wind Energy Materials composition
Solar PV Materials composition (IRENA)
Metals market for 2015 to 2022 reach the 109,487 USD millions
2. Determination of Energy for major common materials,
Energy, including fuel and electricity, for major materials involving the needs for minerals and metals, is a complex subject for discussion. We have to include not only the energy requirements for mining but also to transform into other products as metals or glass. We use the following source of information to determine the energy to take (on average) to produce 1 kilogram of the following materials in Lower Tech Magazine.
A. Involving Ferrous Metals
- Steel (from recycled steel): 6-15MJ (1,665 to 4,170 watt-hours)
- Steel (from iron): 20-50MJ (5,550 to 13,900 watt-hours)
- Iron (from iron ore): 20-25MJ (5,550 to 6,950 watt-hours)
- The composition of Steel:
- Ratio Iron Ore to Steel: 1.25
- Ratio Metallurgical Coal to Steel: 0.625
B. Involving Base Metals
- Aluminum (from 100 % recycled aluminum): 11.35-17MJ (3,150 to 4,750 watt-hours)
- Aluminum (from a typical mix of 80% virgin and 20% recycled aluminum): 219 MJ (60,800 watt-hours)
- Aluminum (from bauxite): 227-342MJ (63,000 to 95,000 watt-hours)
- Nickel (from ore concentrate): 230-270MJ (63,900 to 75,000 watt-hours)
- Copper (from sulfide ore): 60-125MJ (16,600 to 34,700 watt-hours)
C. Involving Precious Metals
- The approach for Silver is made following the data of The Silver Institute.
- About 10% of global application of Silver deals to the Solar PV modules as Ross Beaty confirmed in the conference of Mines & Money Americas last October 2017.
D. Involving Industrial Minerals
- Silicon (from silica): 230-235MJ (63,900 to 65,300 watt-hours)
- Electronic grade silicon (CVD process): 7,590-7,755MJ (2,108,700 to 2,154,900 watt-hours).
- Glass (from sand, etcetera): 18-35MJ (5,000 to 9,700 watt-hours). Quartz is
- Plastics (from crude oil): 62-108MJ (17,200 to 31,950 watt-hours)
- Titanium (from ore concentrate): 900-940MJ (250,000 to 261,000 watt-hours)
E. Involving Construction and Industrial Minerals
- Composition of Concrete, Glass, and Fiberglass
3. Balance previous data with Solar PV and Wind Energy market facilities
We adjust the precedent data with Solar PV and Wind Energy market data. Sourcing:
- Wind Energy Market data: World Wind Energy Association 2016 and 2017
- Solar PV Data: GTM Research 2017
- Components of Solar PV and Wind Energy: IRENA
Next Post (7 of 20)
Under next article (8 of 20), we will analyze the demands for METALS for WIND ENERGY Marketplace.
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