Niobobaotite ore and the largest offshore wind farm in the world
A previously unknown ore containing vast amounts of an element used in semiconductors has been discovered in Inner Mongolia in northern China. It’s niobium, a rare earth metal found in an ore called niobobaotite. Niobium has unique properties of conducting electricity at low temperatures. So far, the primary source of niobium has been columbite ore, widely mined in Canada, Brazil, Australia and Nigeria. The discovery means, among other things, the development of graphene-niobium battery technology with a lifespan ten times longer than traditional lithium-ion batteries.
The first turbine – a part of the world’s largest offshore wind farm construction in the North Sea has started powering British homes and businesses. Each revolution of its 107-metre blades can produce enough energy to power an average British home for two days. When completed in 2026, the Dogger Bank project, developed jointly by the British SSE, Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn, will generate 3.6 GW of energy from 277 turbines, producing electricity for 6 million households.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the equivalent of the entire global electricity grid – 80 million km of the network – needs to be expanded or renewed by 2040 to achieve climate goals and ensure a reliable energy supply. Global investment in energy networks must double to over $600 billion annually by 2030. Currently, renewable energy projects offering at least 3,000 GW of energy are waiting to be connected to the national grids.