Construction + Economy, Energy + Environment

Electrification Impacts On Lighting, Part 4: Material Shortages

Electrification Impacts On Lighting, Part 4: Material Shortages

At LightFair, I was part of a panel presenting the impacts of electrification on the lighting industry. This article is Part 4 of the series.

Two of the biggest consequences of electrification will be the mass adoption of electric vehicles as well as the rapid increase in renewable energy generation. Both of these will create tremendous new demand for a variety of metals used in EV batteries and renewable generation technologies, like wind and solar.

The metals that will experience rapid, exponential growth in demand include: graphite, nickel, aluminum, copper, lithium, cobalt, manganese, and rare earth metals used in magnets. The graph above shows the exponential increase in forecasted demand for these metals. In many cases, forecasted supply will not keep up with projected demand, leading to price spikes. Some of these metals are important for the lighting industry, including copper and aluminum, used in electronics, heat sinks, and luminaire housings. If supply can not keep up with demand for these metals, some alternative will have to be found.

Part 1, about rapidly changing building and energy codes, can be found here.

Part 2, about new electrification products sold in the lighting industry, such as EV chargers and e-bikes, can be found here.

Part 3, about the drivers of deeper energy efficiency retrofits, can be found here.



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