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Energy transition: green hydrogen and cobalt

From 2025 to 2030, the energy transition will bring cumulative global mining investments of US$1.7 trillion.

UNCTAD highlighted that this implies a great opportunity for countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, which in 2022 accounted for 68% of the world’s cobalt mine production and 48% of the world’s cobalt resources.

Rather than contributing to «resource curses,» the extraction of these resources should be linked to national or regional value chains for mineral-based products.

The recent agreement between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to jointly manufacture electric car battery precursors is an example of what commodity-dependent developing countries (CDDCs) could do.

According to UNCTAD, efforts towards an energy transition will depend on a country’s starting point, including its ability to invest, as well as existing capabilities.

While technologically advanced countries may have the resources and capabilities to introduce renewable technologies, low-income countries may prioritize access to clean energy or cooking technologies while building capacity to develop renewable energy, such as wind or solar industries.

Energy transition

At the same time, fuel-exporting CDDCs can initially shift from oil and coal to natural gas, while moving toward greener energy sources.

Chile’s decarbonization efforts, for example, have been complemented by measures to distribute the benefits more equitably among the population.

The country, which relies heavily on copper mining, has enormous potential for renewable energy and has been exploring ways to gradually discontinue the use of fossil fuels in favor of solar and wind power.

He also told UNCTAD that Chile has ambitions to become an exporter of green hydrogen.

To support these goals, the country’s National Energy Plan foresees inclusive training and capacity building plans for new and existing workers and, in coordination with research institutions, is working on training and certifying 27,000 people by 2030.


Redacción Opportimes

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