Developing lithium from the Salton Sea in California could help anchor a multi-billion-dollar domestic EV battery supply chain, according to a report from New Energy Nexus.
The report details the potential to recover lithium as a by-product from the Salton Sea geothermal resource area.
“The world is in a race to dominate the EV market—the Europeans have made their Battery Alliance a priority and the Chinese are chomping at the bit,” said New Energy Nexus CEO Danny Kennedy. “But America is sitting on an enormous competitive advantage with the amount of lithium in Southern California.”
Experts estimate that the known lithium resources in the Salton Sea could meet more than one third of today’s global lithium demand—and the market for lithium is expected to grow dramatically.
Governor Newsom’s recent Executive Order requiring all new cars sold in California to be zero-emission by 2035 highlighted the issue of lithium supply.
Recognizing the unique opportunity Lithium Valley presents, the California State Legislature passed AB 1657, a measure which will establish a Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California, and Governor Newsom signed it into law on September 29..
“In the Imperial Valley, we have a significant opportunity to tap into the great potential of renewable power by developing a globally competitive lithium industry near the Salton Sea,” said Assembly member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), the author of the bill. “This is a chance to turn an environmental and health liability into an asset for all of California by stimulating economic recovery in one of our most underserved regions and furthering our state’s overall renewable energy goals.”
Source: New Energy Nexus