Energy and Natural ResourcesPublished on 09.26.2018
15 min read
© MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP - Energy production requires water and rare metals. The photo shows the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, a substantial lithium reserve.
Energy industries require a wide variety of natural resources, including , oil and gas, of course, but also large quantities of water and rare metals. The amount of water consumed is particularly significant. As well as the role it plays in the hydroelectric sector, water is also used to cool various thermal plants, help extract oil and gas and produce plant matter for biofuels. This growing consumption is in addition to the water used by the world’s population for their needs and activities, such as drinking and domestic water, water needed for farming, and the water used by all industries and services. Some 10% of water withdrawals are specifically for the energy sector. In addition, innovative technology in energy systems draws on more than 50 metals. Securing the availability of these metals in the 21stcentury, in a world dominated by the digital revolution and energy transition, is a major challenge for the global economy.