Our research supports the transition to low carbon and digital economies.
The increasing use of digital technologies, including electronics, renewable energy systems and batteries, requires a much bigger amount of specialised and sometimes critical metals and minerals. Our team’s experience and expertise in mapping and modelling the stocks and flows of resources, appraising novel technology and business models, and creative stakeholder engagement supports strategy and policy development for responsible resource management.
As part of the Mineral Futures collaboration cluster, ISF led a project to understand and monitor the dynamics of peak minerals, and the consequences for Australia. Alongside this ISF ran a multi-stakeholder process that identified strategies for improved resource governance and a collective vision for the future of the minerals industry in Australia out to 2040. It proposed to focus efforts on innovative technologies, ‘urban ores’ and mine waste, improving recycling, and new business models to support more productive resources use in the economy.
Resourcing renewable energy
ISF modelled the demand for metals under future renewable energy scenarios, to determine if the material requirements for renewable technologies and batteries would trigger the need for mining new unconventional resources. This work highlighted that, for high levels of deployment of renewables for power, industry and transport, there are some critical supply constraints. This report was launched by the Deep Sea Mineral Conservation Council in Brussels and provides a strong rationale to expand metal recycling capabilities.