Lithium is an increasingly critical mineral given its role in electrochemical storage – a central asset in many technological solutions of the ongoing energy transition. Today, lithium-ion batteries appear in diverse use cases within electricity systems: from small-scale batteries in households to large-scale storage units on industrial sites. There is an ongoing discussion on lithium mining in Europe as a means to increase self-sufficiency in terms of critical materials for energy storage. Several mine projects have been announced in Portugal, and one in France: the ‘Emili’ project developed by Imerys company.
However, concerns have been expressed regarding the risk of soil degradation and biodiversity loss in those territories where mining could be developed. The arbitrage is certainly complex in the ongoing energy transition. In order to phase out fossil fuels, we might need investment in storage but also in efficiency, as well as demand-response services and consumer behaviour adaptation to make better use of renewable electricity when its production is abundant and to economise massively when production is low.
Read more : Solène Davesne, « Imerys prévoit d’ouvrir une mine de lithium dans l’Allier », L’Usine Nouvelle, 24 Oct. 2022, https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/imerys-prevoit-d-ouvrir-une-mine-de-lithium-dans-l-allier.N2058912