Lithium: unfounded fears amidst real tensions

Lithium is key to batteries. Batteries are key to electrification. Electrification is key to the energy transition. This is why lithium is at the heart of many debates. Of all the minerals that are essential to the transition, lithium is undoubtedly the one that has caused the most ink to flow. It fuels a certain number of fears, particularly of possible supply disruptions, but also a few fantasies. What is the real situation?

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Medium-term prospects for the European gas crisis

While Europe was largely dependent on Russia for its gas supplies, aided by a mild autumn, it has managed to reduce its consumption and find alternative sources of supply. The spectre of a gas shortage therefore seems to be dissipating. However, the measures taken are partly temporary and many investments in infrastructure will have to be made at full speed.

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What is the outlook for listed infrastructure?

Infrastructure companies face several significant external risks at present, including mounting inflation, higher interest rates, elevated energy prices, labour shortages, government intervention to control energy prices, natural gas and energy shortages, shortages of critical renewables components, Russian sanctions and supply chain failures. Not to mention COVID.

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The dash for gas

As opposed to oil or other carbon-based energy sources, natural gas, in its basic form, is not easily transportable. This is problematic as the largest producing countries of oil and gas historically tend not to be the major users of these products. This is especially true for Europe, most of Asian countries, and up until recently, the United States.

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Europe’s infrastructure will be green

In 2021, the 27 EU member states and the European Parliament agreed to enshrine the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 in a “climate law”. And this “Green New Deal” is much more than just wishful thinking, as it not only sets ambitious targets but more importantly provides for massive investments, particularly in infrastructure. So to make the most of it, the biggest winners could be direct investments in infrastructure projects.

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