More recently, silver has been widely used for industrial purposes. In electronics, its electrical conductivity means that it is used for conductors and electrodes and its low chemical reactivity and ability to conduct heat has made it useful in chemical equipment. It is also a necessary component in 5G technology.
Importantly, silver is critical for the production of solar panels and electric vehicles, an ever growing market as we head towards a low carbon economy. The average solar panel of 2m2 will use 20 grams of silver and it is necessary for nearly all electrical connections in electric vehicles. The auto sector collectively uses 55 million ounces of it annually.
Continued investment into renewable energy across the world, combined with increasing demand for industrial uses, which accounts for more than half of all silver demand, is expected to drive long term growth for the silver market.
The Silver Institute forecasts that total demand for silver demand will increase by 5% in 2022 to 1,101.8 million ounces while forecast total supply will only reach 1,030.30 million ounces leaving a significant shortfall.