Commodity prices have surged recently, and some have argued that greening is partly responsible. There are both supply and demand levers at play: carbon energy production might be becoming more expensive as markets shy away from it, while metals that are required for the production and storage of green energy are subject to increasing demand.
Our own analysis casts some doubt on this. We found that the most green-intensive minerals, such as silver and aluminium, have actually underperformed over the past 18 months, while some of the sharpest price increases are seen for minerals in relatively low demand from greener technologies.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that higher demand for cleaner energy won’t become a driver of commodity prices over the long term. For some minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, additional demand from emerging technologies represents a challenge to current production levels. Shifting policy on oil might have contributed more directly to its recent price rises. Indeed, we believe private investor demand for investment in clean energy paired with public sector pressure on energy production is likely to be a theme that overhangs global energy markets over the coming years, affecting consumer demand and access to capital.