Can Bolivia become a green energy superpower?

Vast lithium reserves lie under the salt crust of Salar de Uyuni (photo:dpa)
Vast lithium reserves lie under the salt crust of Salar de Uyuni (photo:dpa)

Bolivia has the largest reserves of lithium, the green energy component vital to lightweight batteries for iPads, computers, mobile phones and hybrid/electric cars. It holds almost half the world’s resource but can it exploit these reserves in a salt flat high in an inaccessible part of the Andes? Attempts to interest foreign investors have drawn a blank so far but Bolivia, South America’s poorest country, could become the Saudi Arabia of green energy.

BOLIVIA holds nearly half the world’s reserves of lithium, a vital component in making batteries for iPads, GPS navigation systems, mobile phones and many other modern everyday hi-tech devices, according to the United States Geological ...

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