With the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, silver is a component in almost all electronic devices we use daily. But silver isn’t just vital today; the next generation of technological advancements, especially those related to global connectivity expansion, will rely on the white metal’s inherent properties throughout the 21st century. As a result, the use of silver in electronics and electrical applications (excluding photovoltaics) is forecast to rise from 224 million ounces (Moz) in 2020 to 246 Moz in 2025, reflecting a 10 percent increase, underscoring silver’s role in emerging technologies.
To further examine silver’s role in expanding global connectivity, the Silver Institute, as part of its series of Market Trend Reports, today released “Silver and Global Connectivity,” produced by CRU International Limited, the London-based consultancy.
Key points from the report include:
- The world is becoming more connected through the billions of physical devices that connect to the internet. Silver is playing an important part in providing increased access to information, global markets, and communication, and, as a result, boosting productivity, reducing waste and inefficiencies, strengthening supply chains, allowing greater automation, and spurring economic activity. This is especially notable today as the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic uptick in the number of employees working and students learning remotely.
- Radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) wirelessly connect objects for tracking, monitoring, and data collection. The logistics and supply chain industry have had high adoption of RFID tracking systems to monitor their assets through air, rail, road, or ship. Health care has also benefited by allowing workers to discover real-time location of life saving medicines and equipment. Projected usage of silver for RFID’s is expected to increase as much as 400 hundred percent through 2030.
- Silver is integral to applications used to forge connections across the globe. These include the expansion of 5G communications technology and the joining of once ‘unintelligent’ goods to a greater ecosystem through the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), the network of historically non-communicative physical objects that are now able to relay information. For example, silver is at the heart of many new technologies that establish reliable and instantaneous connections between people and a wide array of machines, appliances, and devices, including smartphones, white goods, and exercise equipment.
- As global connectivity expands, each application will require various sensors, communication, tracking, and monitoring devices. Many of these applications will use silver in their semiconductors, electrical contacts, and elsewhere. In addition, the underlying infrastructure supporting this connectivity transition, such as the 5G network and IoT, will contribute to increased silver demand.
- Notably, silver offtake in electronics and electrical applications will benefit from the global green revolution’s need for additional power distribution to connect renewable power, off-grid energy storage, and increasingly, the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. For instance, according to the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, the proportion of electricity generated globally from renewables will increase from 29 percent in 2020 to 49 percent by 2030.
To download a copy of the report, please click here.
For 50 years the Silver Institute has served as the silver industry’s principal voice in expanding public awareness of the importance of silver to modern society. One of its primary missions is to provide the global market with reliable statistics and information on silver. This Institute’s series of Market Trend Reports focuses on key sectors of silver demand to bring awareness to silver’s varied and growing demand, and today’s report is part of that series.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at