(Agence Ecofin) – 5G will consume as much, if not more cobalt than the electric vehicle sector in the coming years. At least that’s what analysts quoted by Reuters, which justify this by the greater demand for energy storage induced by the new technology.
5G technology will be one of the main consumers of cobalt within five years, with demand expected to drop from 45,000 tonnes this year to 73,000 tonnes in 2025. According to several analysts relayed by Reuters, 5G could become the number one consumer of cobalt over the years, supplanting the electric vehicle sector which currently occupies the largest share of the market.
Indeed, the antenna of 5G stations requires rechargeable batteries more powerful, able to accumulate enough energy to allow its operation. In addition, the batteries used in laptops operating with 4G will not be sufficient for antennas receiving 5G, causing a need for more efficient batteries. However, all these batteries are made with lithium and cobalt oxide and there are currently no other alternatives.
« As the global transition to 5G technology accelerates, the growth of non-electric vehicle markets has significant potential to increase on two fronts: laptops and energy storage systems. The growth of energy storage systems has already outpaced that of electric vehicles, albeit starting from a much lower base and we predict that demand for stations will increase by 35% annually during the decade.“, Say analysts from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Remember that more than half of the world production of cobalt comes from the DRC. Higher demand is expected to drive up prices, generating increased revenues for the Congolese state in the coming years.