Industrial Silver’s Role in a Green Economy
The role of Industrial Silver has been significant, and that importance will likely continue over the next decade. If anyone thinks that silver is declining, there are tons of factors that are keeping demand for it high. Industrial Silver is going to be necessary for a Green Economy.
Industrial Silver is one of the most in-demand metals found on this earth. We hear about gold, and newer useful metals like platinum, which sometimes causes silver to be left out of the discussion. However, silver holds its value right behind gold as a store of value. Silver has been used for centuries and anything that has been used that long has stood the test of time. While other metals may be seeing their time as more attractive or useful, silver still stands above the rest as something that has been and will continue to be of use.
Whether it is used in Solar Panels, Computers, Mobile Phones, or Lighting Systems, Industrial Silver is necessary to make some of the most used products in the world.
Silver use is really seeing a lot of growth in a Green Economy as it has found a home in solar panels. The solar panel market is a $17 billion industry in 2022 and has grown an average of 21% per year from 2017 to 2022. With numbers like that, we can expect silver prices to rise with it, as it has been found as a very valuable metal due to its conductivity.
Silver is really finding a way to remain robust and useful even in times of major transitions in consumer demand and new and emerging technology. We can find silver being used in medical supplies as well as computers, which makes it a valuable component for a wide range of industries. Especially as a Green Economy continues, we will address how that will impact silver demand as a whole, as well as its potential effect on mining. As currencies of many countries are seeing high volatility, we will also figure out how silver plays into that role as a store of value.
Silver is continuing to see its use in some of the most ubiquitous equipment on the market. Below we will discuss some of the most popular uses of silver in equipment.
Even as the Green Economy grows, silver is still a very useful metal. Silver’s biggest use in a Green Economy may be in solar panels. Each solar panel requires silver to help it be more conductive. The silver is turned into a silver paste which is printed on photovoltaic cells. These cells absorb sunlight and are used to transmit the current where it is needed through the panels. The use of silver for these cells is continuing to grow as solar panel demand continues to increase. The reflection of solar energy using silver is another way that silver is being used. This reflected energy is captured and converted to energy. Silver also finds itself useful in control rods in nuclear reactors that slow down the fission process.
Silver is used in the medical field because of its antibacterial properties. Silver foil was used to bandage people’s wounds. Silver is very effective at fighting pathogens so it is used in surgical equipment. Silver is even used to treat burn victims as it helps stimulate skin growth while killing bacteria. It can also be used to regenerate damaged tissue.
MRSA has created a higher demand for sterile silver. MRSA requires a medical facility to be even better at dealing with sanitation to make sure something like MRSA doesn’t spread from one patient to another, and silver medical equipment will help to solve that issue.
RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tags are being used more frequently to replace bar codes. They are valuable and useful for tracking and data analytics, which are both growing and emerging fields of business.\ If you look closely, you will notice silver strands on the tags. This is because the RFID Tags require 10.9 milligrams of silver on each tag.
Circuit Board Contacts
Because of silver’s abilities in both thermal and electrical, it is able to be used in circuit boards. It is used on printed circuit boards or PCBs.
Most people think of copper when they think of speaker wires, but pure silver is more conductive and is used in high-purity conductors. Speaker wires have been used for decades and show no signs of slowing. Even as the world moves toward wireless products, wired speakers show much more resilience and sound quality than their wireless counterparts.
Because of their higher electricity transmission, silver can be used to speed up superconductors. Most metals used in superconductors actually slow down the conductivity, however, silver has special properties that actually speed up the process and make it work much faster and much more effectively.
Radio Frequency (RF) Conductors
Coaxial cables which are silver plated are used in RF conductors in order to function correctly at different radio frequencies.
Silver As a Store of Value
Industrial Silver will also continue to see demand as a store of value. With the way the current economy is going, there may be countries that see volatility in the price of their nation’s currency. When this happens, people will look for alternative stores of value. When this happens, people will gravitate toward what traditionally was used. This is silver and gold. Silver in particular is useful as a cheaper store of value than gold is. Both serve their purpose, but there is no doubt that silver can be used in this fashion. This could cause the price of silver to increase as the demand for this resource rises. Silver is a rare metal and there isn’t going to be much more of it produced unless a lot more is discovered by mining. That is highly unlikely as people have been scouring the earth for this metal for centuries.
Will a Green Economy Reduce Silver Mining?
In an ever-growing Green Economy, we may see that mining is seen as not being environmentally friendly, which could cause a boycott or increased regulations that stop silver mining from occurring. Even in a Green Economy, if mining is reduced due to its environmental impact, that will only increase the demand for currently mined silver as the mining for new silver is reduced. This should still keep the price of silver high.
Silver is one of the best metals in the world. It is used in many different major appliances and medical devices. Its range as a great conductor as well of its sanitary properties makes it very versatile as a useful metal. It can and will be used in the future in an array of ways. It has been used for centuries and is still finding new uses with emerging Green Technologies like solar panels. We likely will not see a decline in silver as it continues to be useful.
Silver also remains a mainstay as a store of value. Silver coins and silver bars have been used through many different civilizations both past and present as a true representation of value and wealth. Even as we shift to a more digital economy with digital currency, people will still want something physical and tangible they can hold as a store of value. And silver provides that. Much like gold, silver has a storied history and people that want to invest in silver as an asset or store of value have found a valuable metal to invest in.
As the Green Economy continues to grow, demand for silver will likely remain high. Even if silver mining finds itself in the crosshairs of ethical and moral dilemmas, the demand for the metal still remains strong. We may see a decline in mining over the next decades, but that would only cause the supply of silver to decrease, which should lead to an increase in price. There are many factors at play in an ever-changing economy, but the fact that silver has been used and will continue to be used keeps it a very strong metal to invest in.
Solar Panels are an emerging area for silver in the Green Economy. Silver can be melted down into a paste-like state which makes it a great conductor in solar panels. The demand for Solar Panels is only likely to increase in the coming decades, as the U.S. and the world turn away from traditional non-renewable fossil fuels as a way to power their grids. Expect more and more Solar Panels to sprout up in sunny areas of the world, whether it be on the roofs of houses, or in large solar panel fields. The technology is still in its infancy, but expect silver to continue to be used as it is being seen as a great conductor in the field.