The scarcity of platinum could threaten decarbonisation goals unless action is taken to address the supply-demand gap, according to a new International Energy Forum paper.
Supply-demand gaps are a larger problem affecting all energy transition metals, the extraction of which have a disproportionate impact on some of the world’s poorest people.
The situation is especially serious for platinum, however, which is sourced from a very small number of countries – South Africa alone accounts for more than 70% of global platinum supplies, and the country’s mining industry is facing ongoing challenges, from frequent strikes to disputes over environmental impacts. Platinum is more than 30 times rarer than gold, the paper notes.
The US, EU, and China have all recognised platinum as strategically important for the energy transition and have policies to stimulate demand. In the US, for instance, the Inflation Reduction Act aims to accelerate clean hydrogen production and fuel cell EV adoption and includes a generous tax incentive for low-carbon hydrogen.
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