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AssessmentsJul 5, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
As it makes changes to its economy, China is intent on ensuring greater control over the entire supply chain for lithium-ion batteries for years to come.
How China Is Muscling In on Lithium-Ion Batteries
From the salt flats of the Atacama Desert in Chile to the savannas of the Congo, the makers and users of the world's batteries are scrambling to secure the vital raw materials needed to produce the lithium-ion cells that will power electric vehicles around the globe. But no battery-makers are more aggressive than those from China, which is working to lock down the entire supply chain for its companies. Meanwhile, the United States will rely on economies of scale to compete in storage-cell manufacturing, turning toward North American raw material producers to ensure supplies whenever possible. Even then, the country will face stiff competition from Chinese investors -- to say nothing of European automobile companies, who will be compelled to increase their reliance on China. Buoyed by support from the highest levels of government, Chinese companies are likely to find few challengers over the next decade and a half as
AssessmentsJun 15, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A lithium ion battery is on display at a technology trade show in the united states.
Why Cashing in on Lithium in South America Won't Be Easy
South America is home to a veritable goldmine. The mountainous border region shared by Argentina, Bolivia and Chile -- dubbed the South American lithium triangle -- holds some of the world's largest reserves of lithium, making it poised to rise in importance as the demand for the globe's "new oil" increases in the years to come. However, a host of political and regulatory risks, as well as logistical impediments, will hamper the development of lithium in the area, meaning the only country to fully benefit from the riches that lie beneath could be Chile.
SnapshotsMar 16, 2018 | 17:18 GMT
Chile: Santiago Approves China's Latest Electricity Utility Purchase
Chinese investment energy has found a focus on South American electricity. On March 15, power company China Southern Power Grid confirmed it had received authorization to purchase 27 percent of Chile's largest electricity transmission system. The Chinese power company paid $1.3 billion to Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management Inc. for a stake in the Chilean electricity company Transelec SA, which operates just under 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) of electricity transmission lines and controls around 85 percent of Chile's market. And this purchase is far from the only move Chinese power companies have made in the region's electricity systems.
AssessmentsFeb 19, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A map of South America shows the long-disputed borders between Chile and Peru.
Sparks Fly Between Chile and Peru
Relations between Peru and Chile have historically been some of the most troubled in South America, but the past few years have brought a new energy to the relationship. On Feb. 6, Chilean Minister of Energy Andres Rebolledo confirmed that the two countries will begin construction this year on a 30-mile electricity transmission line connecting them. The line could be completed by the end of 2019. The announcement is a sign that both countries have decided to leave their historic animosity behind and that deeper integration between them will likely continue in the coming year.
AssessmentsOct 20, 2017 | 13:59 GMT
Demand for lithium-ion battery technology is expected to keep growing.
Lithium: Powering a Global Revolution
The world is slowly breaking its dependence on fossil fuels. Global policy, along with economic considerations and technological developments, has helped to usher in a new era in which oil will have lost its prominence as the world diversifies its energy sources. Although that day is still at least a decade away, the transition is in progress. And batteries are leading the charge. Today, lithium-ion batteries are the gold standard in battery technology. Demand for the technology is expected to keep growing, and at a rate that will soon outpace current lithium production. The world's lithium resources are almost certainly adequate to satisfy the rising demand for the material. Whether production can keep up, however, will depend on the handful of countries that are poised to dominate the global supply of the world's lightest metal.
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