Critical minerals are essential for the development of renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, green hydrogen, electric vehicles (EVs), and battery storage, and Africa’s mineral wealth has the potential to benefit not only the continent, but to provide a foundation for the global energy transition.
Accounting for more than 85% of most solar photovoltaic components, aluminum – for which bauxite accounts roughly 98% of its primary production – is used in most low-carbon technologies.
Africa is home to approximately one-third of global bauxite reserves, with Guinea alone having accounted for over half of global aluminum ore exports in 2020.
What’s more, chromium accounts for over a third of the mineral demand for both geothermal and hydropower technologies and serves as a requisite material for the development of concentrated solar power (CSP). South Africa (https://apo-opa.info/44BqM7o) accounted for nearly 45% of the world’s chromium production in 2021, while Africa accounted for over 80% of global chromium ore exports in 2020. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), chromium demand is expected to triple by 2030.