Sodium - An Alternative to the "White Gold" of the Energy Transition

Nicola De Blasio

April 2024


As the world transitions towards low-carbon energy systems, scaling up clean energy technologies will drive demand for critical minerals and metals, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and rare earth elements. Stakeholders in the private and public sectors must work together to implement effective and efficient strategies, policies, and regulations to ensure that supplies are secure, reliable, sustainable, and equitable.

Over the past years, the price volatility of minerals and metals has increased due to rising demand, supply chain disruptions, and concerns about tightening supplies. In addition, today’s markets are highly concentrated in a small number of countries. Although supply diversification investments are increasing, most near-term growth is expected from existing major producers, resulting in an even higher geopolitical risk.

The transportation sector offers a stark example of these dynamics. Every year, the world increasingly relies on batteries. In 2022, electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for about 10 percent of global vehicle sales and are expected to reach 35 percent by the decade's end. Announced policies around the world are accelerating these trends. For example, recent climate legislation in the United States is deploying billions into battery manufacturing and incentives for EV purchases.

While lithium is relatively scarce and primarily refined in China, sodium is neither. 

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For Academic Citation: De Blasio, N., (2024) Sodium - An Alternative to the "White Gold" of the Energy Transition"  ####, April 2024.