Silver is widely perceived to be both a commodity and a form of money and has been used as a medium of exchange for thousands of years due to its inherent value. Not many people are aware, but silver plays a critical role in moving towards a green economy. Renewable power generation and battery storage technologies may conjure metals of cobalt, lithium, copper and nickel, but silver plays an even more fundamental role across many green energy technologies.
As global efforts to decarbonize due to the concerning levels of global warming, we expect three areas to contribute significantly to silver consumption:
1. The automotive sector and electric vehicles (EV)
2. Photovoltaic Sector
3. 5G cellular networks and consumer electronics
1 – Silver’s electrical properties make it extremely hard to replace across a wide range of automotive application, many of which are needed for safety and environmental standards. The Silver institute forecast approximately 61 million oz for 2021 and 88 million oz forecasted by 2025. As automotive companies continue to move towards autonomous driving, vehicles complexity may increase for this sector alone the requirement for more silver consumption.
2 - The Photovoltaic sector demands for solar panel production consumes a large segment of the silver market, accounting approximately 100 million ounces a year. As innovations continues to evolve for the sector, the amount silver per cell may decrease, but with the increase demand for solar panels we expect this to offset the reduction of silver used per solar panel.
3 - As cities across North America continue to evolve and build new infrastructure for 5G cellular networks and 5G cellular technology, the demand for these products will continue increase the demand for silver. The race for 6G wireless technology is well underway, will add to an even higher level of demand for silver in the future.
1. Silver Institute reports (2020 and 2021)
2. Sprott silver report