palladium

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Precious Metals and Sustainable Energy

What Is the Connection Between Precious Metals and Sustainable Energy?

Many of us have heard about sustainable energy, from solar energy to hydrogen fuel to renewable resources. But did you know that alternative energy sources and precious metals are deeply intertwined? In fact, the demand for renewable energy sources plays a prominent role in the demand for precious metals.

So, what does gold have to do with solar power? How does silver drive the electric vehicle industry? What does platinum have to do with hydrogen fuel cells? In this article, I’ll explain the many ways that gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are playing an important role in green energy research.

Gold, Silver, and Sustainable Energy

Gold and silver have been used for millennia in nearly every culture in the world. Besides their most common uses — such as jewelry or medical devices — gold and silver also have enjoyed a variety of “magical” applications throughout history, particularly for ancient and medieval alchemy. 

Although spinning gold into something else might seem like the stuff of fairy tales, researchers have been able to use gold as a catalyst to turn solar energy into methane and methanol. Well-known for its high conductivity, silver, too, has emerged as a key ingredient in the development of solar technologies. When used in the form of a paste in solar cells, silver helps conduct electrons from sunlight and the resulting electrical energy that can be used immediately or stored in batteries. 

Additionally, silver plays a vital role in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, which is growing rapidly. According to McKinsey, 143 new EVs were launched in 2019 and automakers plan on launching 450 additional models by 2022. From the electric engine to the battery pack to the batter management system, silver is necessary for EVs to operate. Gold, too, is used for the circuit boards of EVs. 

A global authority on precious metals, the London Bullion Market Association predicts that the demand for silver in the auto industry will increase 246% by 2040 — from a little more than 1,300 metric tons in 2015 to more than 4,500 metric tons in 2040. Although the amount of silver and gold may be small from car to car, the aggregate total is notable and will only expand the importance and value of these precious metals. 

Platinum, Palladium, and Renewable Energy

Discovered in 1735, platinum is known for its brilliant shine and durability and is used in everything from dental tools to jewelry.

Platinum’s cousin palladium isn’t known as widely for its white luster as it is for its use in the automotive industry where it’s used to turn toxic pollutants into water vapor and less-harmful carbon dioxide. In recent years, the demand for palladium has grown thanks to research into its applications in alternative energy. In fact, although palladium isn’t used in electric car production, the demand for palladium in hybrid cars is on the rise.

Groundbreaking uses for both of these metals are emerging as scientists investigate how to shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. Both metals are excellent candidates for use as catalysts in hydrogen fuel cells, because of their excellent conductivity. Platinum and palladium make it possible to turn hydrogen into an efficient, powerful, and sustainable fuel source. This potential makes platinum and palladium the standouts among the precious metals for green technologies.

Driven by Precious Metals, the Future Is Green

Although we can’t be sure what the future holds, all signs point toward more industries “going green” at a rapid clip. As interest in sustainability grows, innovative uses for precious metals will only drive demand. If you’re interested in learning more about precious metals, including gold and silver, visit RoslandCapital.com.

Palladium: What Is It, and Why Does It Have Such High Market Value Right Now?

In the precious metals industry, heavy focus is frequently placed on gold and silver as two of the more valuable metals available for purchase. While it’s undeniable that these metals are held in high regard by many industry experts, there are also other, more obscure metals that are rising in demand and value among consumers. Palladium, for example, is a precious metal that has experienced a prodigious ascent through the market within the last several years. If you’re unfamiliar with palladium, it may be worthwhile to learn a little more about it so you can assess how including it in your asset portfolio might be beneficial to your long-term finances.

What Is Palladium?

Palladium is a lustrous silvery-white metal that is most often used in industrial settings, but it can also be found in electronics, jewelry, and some methods of dentistry. In recent years, it has gained popularity among automakers as a means of reducing the amount of harmful pollutants released by vehicle exhaust systems. With stricter environmental regulations being put in place, this precious metal has become a crucial component in the creation of new cars, leading to nearly 80 percent of palladium consumption being accounted for by auto manufacturers.

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Source: Rosland Capital

Why Is Palladium So Valuable?

Even though the demand for palladium has increased significantly due to these new regulatory measures, there has been a shortage in supply. In fact, many precious metals specialists have speculated that the amount of palladium supplied to consumers in 2019 will likely fall short of demand for the eighth year in a row. Because of this, prices have reached record-breaking levels, and the market value is expected by some analysts to continue increasing in the coming months.

PALLADIUM GRAPHIC PRICE

Source: Reuters

What Value Does It Hold for Non-Commercial Consumers?

In addition to reducing your exposure to toxic emissions from your car, palladium could be a valuable addition to your asset portfolio. When diversifying your wealth, the inclusion of a variety of precious metals amid other types of financial holdings may aid in safeguarding your retirement savings against the volatility of the stock market. 

Although market prices for metals like palladium are subject to fluctuation, precious metals are often seen as attractive because of their enduring, inherent value, in contrast with paper-based assets that may be less secure in times of economic uncertainty. The purchase of palladium in physical forms like bullion bars may be of significant benefit to the overall stability of your portfolio, thereby improving the stability of the future you’re building for yourself.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to add palladium in addition to other precious metals to your holdings, contact one of our precious metals specialists at Rosland Capital.