S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, announced today at its London Oil & Energy Forum that Collin Smith is the winner of the inaugural S&P Global Platts Researcher Award for his research into Electric Vehicles and the battery metals supply chain.
Martin Fraenkel, President, S&P Global Platts said: "We created the S&P Global Platts Researcher Award to recognize the innovative spirit and creative contribution from post-graduate researchers in the commodity markets. 'd like to congratulate Collin on his excellent and insightful research into electrification of transport. This award is a logical extension of S&P Global's mission to power the markets of the future by engaging with the pioneering academic community and we are looking forward to expanding the scope of our Researcher Award next year".
Posing the question "What is the single most significant factor that will impact the commodities market over the next 10 years?" S&P Global Platts sought submissions from post-graduate researchers in the commodity markets from universities across Europe, Americas and Asia and asked how, why and what role they might play in influencing the markets.
Submissions were judged by a panel of three S&P Global Platts leaders across the Pricing and Market Insight divisions. A short list of five candidate was drawn up from which Collin's research paper was selected as winner of the $5,000 educational grant, awarded by Head of Energy Pricing, Dave Ernsberger in front of 650 delegates attending the S&P Global Platts London Oil & Energy Forum.
Dave Ernsberger, Had of Energy Pricing, S&P Global Platts added: "Our internal panel of judges would like to commend Collin for his winning research paper. He brought an excellent balance of market research and personal experience, combining his strong knowledge of battery components and technologies with an exploration of metals market trends to generate a thoughtful discussion of the urgency and scale of the work that still needs to go into the development of more advanced Electric Vehicle solutions. He highlighted that those who best navigate this complex and emerging space will emerge as primary winners in the upcoming paradigm shift in human transportation. Today's answers may soon be replaced by creative new solutions that are even now only starting to be understood."
Collin Smith's paper, "Slow-Motion Revolution: How Demand For Electric Vehicles Will Shape Global Commodity Markets" will be published in the April edition of the S&P Global Platts Insight Magazine.
Notes to editors
Collin Smith biography
Collin is a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he is pursuing a Masters degree in International Economics with a concentration in Energy, Resources, and the Environment. As a component of his graduate work, Collin completed a certificate program in China Studies at the Hopkins Nanjing Center in Nanjing. Prior to this degree, he spent two years in Beijing working on the Energy & Climate Team of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a US-based environmental NGO. At NRDC, Collin analyzed the impact that China's growing EV market would have on the country's power sector and published a report on technological solutions that could prevent EVs from negatively affecting the electricity grid.
Most recently, Collin was an intern on the Market Applications team for Fluence, a joint venture between AES and Siemens that has the largest deployed fleet of grid-scale lithium-ion battery projects in the world. At Fluence, Collin tracked global markets for battery storage and helped develop market entry strategies for new battery products. His primary project was determining the market for stationary batteries co-located at electric vehicle charging stations to help manage electricity costs at these stations. Collin is an alumnus of Swarthmore College, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science.
Slow-Motion Revolution: How Demand For Electric Vehicles Will Shape Global Commodity Markets
The electrification of transport has become recognized as all but inevitable. Many of the world's major car markets, from California to China to the UK, have developed plans to phase out traditional cars in favor of electrified models that produce no greenhouse gas emissions or urban pollution, The world's largest car manufacturer have increased their investment in new models of EVs, recognizing that this is an area where they can't afford to lag behind. And prices of EVs continue to fall, with some analysts predicting they could reach cost-party with internal combustion engines by the middle of the next decade.
As the EV revolution picks up speed, savvy watchers of commodity markets have recognized that even in the relatively short term, the impact of this transition will be significant. Increased demand for component metals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel are pushing prices for many of these commodities to new highs, radically increasing the value of mines that produce them. Although these price increases are unlikely to derail a global transition in transport sector, it will affect the investment decisions of many players in the commodity space.
Mining companies will work to control or expand stakes in mines that feed the supply chains for EVs, while the companies producing those EVs will struggle to ensure a steady supply at stable prices.
With concerns over possible supply shortages in key inputs like cobalt and nickel becoming more pronounced, countries that attach strategic importance to these technologies like China are taking steps to guarantee that supply of these raw materials to their industry will not be affected. Meanwhile, companies will be racing to reduce - or even replace - the amount of these metals they use in their products. The resulting market will be complex, influenced by an interconnected web of economics, geopolitics, and technological development. However, those that are able to navigate it successfully will emerge as the primary beneficiaries of the upcoming paradigm shift in human transportation.
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