The Future of Solar Energy Spotlights Graphite
PALM BEACH, Florida, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary
Graphite is a mineral that is quietly fuelling the future of clean technology, and its applications in the battery market just keep growing and growing. Graphite grabbed investors' attention when Tesla CEO Elon Musk, determined to provide the world with clean battery power for cars and homes, identified Graphite and Nickel as key elements in the lithium-ion battery cell mass. Musk even said that lithium ion batteries "should be called Nickel-Graphite." Minerals like these are vital to the growth of clean tech. Mining companies like SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR), Global X Lithium (NYSE:LIT), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA), and Graphite Energy Corp. (CSE:GRE) (OTC:GRXXF) know this, and are strategically mining the minerals of the future.
Tesla's electric vehicle (EV) batteries have captured plenty of headlines, but the automotive sector is not necessarily going to be the largest consumer of lithium ion batteries. The big use will come in the home batteries sector, and solar panel roofs, powered with Tesla battery packs, require even more graphite. Battery powered homes will be the way of the future, and are projected to increase demand for graphite over 1,000 times. The North American hotbed of graphite production is actually in Québec, Canada, where junior mining companies Mason Graphite Inc. and Graphite Energy Corp. are rapidly assembling operations.
Technology that transforms the future of grid power
Of all the strategic minerals in play, graphite offers the greatest opportunities for growth in the evolution of solar power technology. Solar roofing and battery storage systems are transforming the future of grid power, and graphite technologies are making materials stronger. Graphite Energy Corp. will be pivotal in providing the natural grade mineral needed to support the supply chain demand.
Graphite will be needed to store the power generated from Tesla's new solar roofs, which are already on the market. Tesla has even started selling solar panels at Home Depot. The company is reportedly going to start selling the panels at nearly 800 retail locations, bringing the technology to consumers via the bricks and mortar market.
Graphene -the World's most Conductive Material
Graphene, a form of carbon that results from the reduction of graphite, is the world's most conductive material, and it offers a range of opportunities for advanced display technologies, communications systems and desalination solutions. Graphene is also going to be an essential component in the solar panel market, as home builders adopt solar power technology.
Graphene is also produced at Graphite Energy Corp.'s Lac Aux Bouleaux (LAB) property in Québec, which is located right next to Imerys, the only actively producing mine in North America. Technical data obtained during discovery confirmed that LAB is a natural flake graphite mine, and natural graphite is what clean technology companies like Tesla need to gear the globe towards a green future.
Powerwall: the breakthrough home battery technology
With Tesla's breakthrough home battery powerwall technology, power batteries will soon be installed in every new home. The powerwall actually detects grid outages and automatically becomes a home's main energy source - protecting a home from a power outage. This technology will keep lights on and phones charged during a grid power failure.
The power is stored in large batteries in a unit usually located outside of the home or in an electrical room. These home batteries are considerably larger than car batteries and they will require large amounts of graphite, making the mineral a very hot commodity.
As the industry evolves, solar panel power will be stored in the batteries, which would require up to five times as much graphite in the home battery storage than in a car battery. Solar companies already know most new home builders are able to install solar panels. While hydro companies are the grid power source, graphite is a key element that brings solar power back to the grid.
Eventually, this powerful technological capability, fueled in large part by graphite, will scale to hydro companies across North America and in Europe. Graphite Energy Corp. recognized this imminent increase in global demand, and is set to bring the mineral to market first.
Canada- the Graphite production capital of North America
While graphite was identified as a mineral critical to the US economy, there are no actively producing graphite mines in the United States. Investors in the US could be turning their eyes North, as Mining.com reported that almost a quarter of all new capacity in the world could be in Canada. There are currently over 30 credible flake graphite projects being investigated in Canada.
Graphite Energy Corp. (CSE: GRE) (OTC: GRXXF) has the lead on other mining juniors because the company has already completed the discovery phase at their Lac Aux Bouleaux Graphite property in Southern Québec. Technical data has confirmed that the mine contains natural, large flake graphite, which is the type of mineral companies like Tesla will need to power car and home battery packs. Actual drilling begins this week, positioning Graphite Energy Corp. as the first domestic junior mining company to bring the mineral to the North American market.
Mason Graphite secured a $45 million private placement deal in January to be used for development and construction expenses at its Lac Guéret graphite mine in Northeastern Québec. Strategic investments in graphite production are on the rise as investors realize the mineral is a key ingredient in the growth of solar power and clean tech. All this bodes well for Graphite Energy Corp.'s burgeoning operations in the hotbed of North American graphite production.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) is a U.S. solar panel maker that has high-efficiency panels featuring SunPower's Maxeon cell technology. Based in Silicon Valley, SunPower generates over 18 million megawatt hours of solar energy. SunPower has announced a partnership with Apple (AAPL) that will result in two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts in China's Sichuan province.
Global X Lithium (NYSE: LIT) The Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF invests in the full lithium cycle, from mining and refining the metal, through to battery production. Founded in 2008, Global X Lithium focuses on smart core, income, alpha, risk management and access suites of ETFs, with more than 50 funds available across U.S. and foreign exchanges.
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) First Solar has developed, financed, engineered, constructed and currently operates many of the world's largest grid-connected photovoltaic power plants. Founded in Arizona in 1999, First Solar has experience across the solar value chain, and reduces risk while striving to deliver more reliable, dependable and cost-effective solutions.
Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) is a leader in the production of Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminum products. Founded in 1888 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alcoa has one of the largest bauxite mining portfolios worldwide, with project locations in North America, South America, Europe, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
Tesla's graphite-fueled home battery packs are setting consumers on the path to finding the best solar power solutions, and the technology has given investors a new mineral to get excited about. In the near future, competitor companies will look to match that innovation, but the secret is already out. Graphite is the key to efficiently power anything that runs on batteries, and contenders like Graphite Energy Corp. will be pivotal in meeting North America's natural graphite demand.
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