All videos

This metal is known as the ‘white gold’ of the energy transition

This video is part of: Centre for Energy and Materials

Also known as the ‘white gold’ of the energy transition, Lithium is one of the main ingredients in battery storage technology, powering zero-emission vehicles and storing wind and solar energy. This allows clean energy to be released to the grid as needed. Lithium also powers some batteries for mobile phones and laptops.

Lithium: The demand and potential supply shortfall

Demand for lithium has rocketed in recent years, and experts say this growth is set to continue. From a global demand of 500,000 tonnes in 2021, it's expected to reach 3-4 million tonnes by 2030.

However, this may be more lithium than the world is able to supply. Like other critical minerals, lithium supply chains face challenges, including historical underinvestment in exploration, decreasing ore quality, and increasing extraction difficulty.

Securing a sustainable future

A shortage of lithium could slow the energy transition, but experts say the mining sector may be able to close the gap by using more innovative methods of extracting and processing lithium.

The World Economic Forum's initiative is working to identify and mitigate risks of critical mineral shortages, helping to ensure a sustainable, low-cost, and equitable transition to clean energy.

Have you read?
Fourth Industrial Revolution

How the Internet of Things (IoT) became a dark web target – and what to do about it

Antoinette Hodes

May 17, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum