India Mulling Overseas Lithium-Asset Investment, Think Tank Says
A brine pool is seen at a lithium mine in Chile. (Photographer: Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg)

India Mulling Overseas Lithium-Asset Investment, Think Tank Says

India is looking to acquire stakes in lithium assets overseas to secure supplies of the metal used in making power-storage batteries, Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman of a government think tank, said.

A team led by NITI Aayog, the National Institution for Transforming India, has visited Latin American countries to explore options, Kumar said in a virtual renewable energy seminar on Friday, without giving details.

Securing supplies of the metal will help the country build domestic battery-cell capacity for a transition to clean energy, he said. India is seeking cheaper power-storage solutions to meet its climate commitments and reduce air pollution in its cities.

The government plans to expand renewable energy capacity by about two-fold to 175 gigawatts by 2022, and boost it further to 450 gigawatts by 2030.

“Therefore we need alternate uses of this energy,” he said. “For this, the government is committed to and will soon have a hydrogen economy mission.”

Hydrogen energy could help switch the country’s entire fleet of popular two-wheel and three-wheel vehicles to green mobility in three to four years, and would later include long-haul trucks and buses, Kumar said.

Large renewable-energy parks that India plans to develop will be able to produce green hydrogen and ammonia, Power Minister R.K. Singh told the seminar.

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