Cobalt – our increasing dependency
Cobalt is a strategic metal now in strong demand for new generation batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries now being widely used in clean energy systems.
Until the advent of the lithium-ion battery, cobalt was traditionally a by-product of nickel, silver, copper, lead, and iron mining. Now, the metal is sought in its own right for use in the lithium-ion battery, which actually contains more cobalt than lithium!
The smart news is that batteries store energy. They allow households to store any excess energy gained through solar panels and then later use this energy when required. It is now possible for a single household (with rooftop solar and a battery) to “solar shift”, that is to store excess generated at noon to be used later when needed. So households can use solar power when they want it, not just when its being produced.
There is more on the current and near horizon for cobalt. Our increasing dependency on Cobalt means it is being used in everything from house-hold electronics and battery storage, through to electronic vehicles and aircraft.