Key takeaways from KPMG Global Power & Utilities Conference

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Controlled Thermal Resources’ CEO, Rod Colwell and the CTR team joined international business leaders at the 8th Annual KPMG Global Power and Utilities Conference in Brussels on November 14.

Rod was among a group of specialists invited to speak at the ‘Driving Convergence in an Electrified Transport era’ session. The panel group discussed future trends and opportunities, shared knowledge and gained insight into global energy demands and the infrastructure required to accommodate the exponential growth of EV production and consumer take up.

Materials, supply, technology and industry sectors are converging more than any other time in transport and infrastructure history.

Joining Rod on the panel was Managing Director of AutomotiveNL - Leo Kusters, Director of Advanced Planning at Alectra Utilities - Vikram Singh and, Global Head of Infrastructure KPMG UK -Richard Threlfall, with moderation by Anurag Gupta – Partner of Infrastructure at KPMG Canada.

Driving Convergence - Key takeaways from the discussion

  • A general consensus that materials, supply, technology and industry sectors are converging more than any other time in transport and infrastructure history.

  • EV production and consumer take up has reached a pivotal ‘tipping point’ where technology is driving costs down, paving the way for EV (battery) production growth.

  • Based on battery cost reductions, EV’s will, at least in the mid to long term have a stronger uptake rate than alternatives such as hydrogen / fuel cell technology.

  • 30% EV penetration is expected by 2030 and 55% by 2040.

  • In the Netherlands, by law, all vehicles will be required to be electric or zero emission by 2030. Many other countries are considering similar mandates.

  • The disruption to infrastructure will be profound with governments and business currently assessing the potential scenarios.

  • Current research findings include that approximately 20% of EV charging is taking place in transit. 80% is expected to take place in residence and/or business locations.

  • This research also concluded that a great percentage of vehicle charging will take place after hours, creating even higher peak-load strain on existing power infrastructure, possibly hindering the transition to renewable energy options.

  • Further technology advancement in power storage is the highest priority and critically required to offer base load energy solutions to keep energy grids safe and consistent.

  • California will be an interesting case study as they transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Currently, EV owners are happy with their zero emission transport choice, yet they are still going home and charging these vehicles via coal-based and other non-renewable energy sources, essentially kicking the ‘sustainability tin’ down the road.

  • Based on the above scenarios, lithium supply and demand will continue to grow with demand outstripping supply by as early as 2025 - 2028. These assumptions are based on current supply and expected project supply in the pipeline.

Investment in EV transition will reach $11.3 trillion by 2050.

Other takeaways from the conference included comments by Rafael Mateo Alcala of ACCIONA Energy:

  • Investment in EV transition will reach $11.3 trillion by 2050.

  • There will be a massive ramp up of battery investment.

  • Regulators are expected to put further pressure on banks and financial organisations regarding green change issues.

What this means for CTR and its Shareholders

  • CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen Lithium-Geothermal mine is positioned to produce circa 75,000 tonnes of battery-grade Lithium Carbonate Equivalent products per year from 2023 onwards. This will cover a large percentage of expected supply shortages.

  • CTR’s lithium extraction process is faster, cleaner and in most cases, more cost effective than current mining methods (Hard Rock - Spodumene and Salar) making CTR’s products attractive to off take groups keen to secure, consistent and timely product supply.

  • The mine will operate using 100% renewable geothermal energy to power the site, as well as minimising the use of costly re-agents in the extraction process. This makes CTR’s lithium products more competitive in terms of cost and sustainability.

  • Hell’s Kitchen LG 1’s geothermal power has the capacity to provide low-cost, renewable baseload power to the Californian electricity grid offering an ideal solution to the State’s energy challenges leading up to the 100% renewable energy transition by 2045.

  • The value of co-location opportunities on-site for cathode and electrode production will create one of the most secure, sustainable and reliable lithium product supply chains in the industry.

All roads used to lead to Rome, but by 2025, all roads will be leading to a sustainable, electrified transport and infrastructure system. CTR is ready.