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Energy Commission Holding Workshop To Discuss Lithium Extraction From Geothermal Brine

By Media Office Staff

Demand for lithium has been increasing with the increased use of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and to support the integration of increasing amounts of renewable energy on the grid.

To further explore the potential for lithium extraction from geothermal brine, California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild will lead a Nov. 15 workshop in Sacramento with key stakeholders and the public.

Increased recovery of lithium from geothermal brines, especially from sources in the Salton Sea area, has the potential to provide large revenues, local economic development opportunities, and an opportunity to secure a world class source of battery-grade lithium within California.

A 2015 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory valued mineral recovery of lithium from Salton Sea geothermal brine as potentially producing up to $860 million annually in total business revenue. Resource value and market pricing will be discussed at the workshop.

The workshop seeks input from stakeholders, including developers of lithium recovery technologies, lithium marketers, geothermal facility operators, investors, local governments, and state and federal agencies involved in lithium recovery from geothermal brines.

The scheduled presentation and discussion topics are:

Demand for Development – presentations and discussion of the demand for lithium and the additional benefits development of lithium extraction can bring to the geothermal community, local municipalities, battery manufacturers, and the state.

Technical and Economic Challenges - discussion of the technical and economic challenges that need to be overcome to expand production.

Funding Priorities and the Role of Government – discussion of the priorities for policy and financial support of the lithium recovery process and the appropriate role of government at this stage.

More details about the workshop, including how to participate remotely, are here.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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