Electrifying the Economy: Sources of Battery Materials for Renewable Energy (Room A)

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In order to accelerate the transition from carbon to renewable energy, we most convert the building heating and automobile sectors away from carbon by electrifying them. In turn, electrifying these sectors often requires increasingly sophisticated batteries. However, the metals which it takes to manufacture these batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel frequently come from geopolitically challenging countries, such as China, the Congo, Zambia, and Chile. Bloomberg estimates that, driven by demand for electric battery powered vehicles, global cobalt demand alone by 2030 will be 47 times the demand in 2017 [!!!] This panel explores the challenges of using specific metals to create specific batteries, and how battery makers are attempting to relocate the sources of these metals from challenging countries to more friendly nations. There is also an Environmental, Social, and Governance dimension, in the form of a push by major car manufacturers for global production of key metals to be sourced sustainably and responsibly, with a special concern for child labor in the “artisanal” mines in the Congo.


Chuck Schilke, AM, JD, CRE, FRICS
CEO, Intergreen Consulting
Chuck Schilke will moderate all 3 Panels on the Sustainability and Energy Track. Chuck has a background in energy and environmental matters, principally from having been an environmental lawyer at Exxon Mobil Corporation, as well as in real estate issues related to energy and environmentalism from his work performing all the real estate legal due diligence for the Exxon-Mobil merger. He is a member of the Energy Bar Association, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Urban Land Institute. Chuck was also a Harvard doctoral student in international relations, with an East Asia and Russia emphasis. Read full profile…


Danielle Woodring
Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, at the Center for Critical Minerals Strategy of the Saving America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
Danielle Woodring is the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs of the Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy at SAFE. Danielle brings real-world geological and science policy expertise to the Center. After obtaining her Master of Science in structural geology and geological mapping, Danielle worked as a geologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Geological Survey, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Read full profile…

William Tobin
Global Energy Center, The Atlantic Council
William Tobin is a program assistant at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, where he focuses on energy and climate policy. William’s research efforts center on energy transitions in emerging markets and developing economies; clean energy supply chains and critical materials; the future of oil and gas; and emerging technologies such as clean hydrogen and advanced batteries. Read full profile…