The Energy Assemblages project began research in July and August of 2019 with pilot studies at the plant in Llipi, the lithium-ion battery research and development facility in Palca (Potosí), and with officials from Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the Vice-Ministry for Advanced Energy Technologies (VMATE) in La Paz. In January and February 2020, project team members returned to Llipi for additional pilot research during a period of political turmoil at the national level related to the October-November coup d’état.

At the same time, the project’s director finalized research plans to trace the lines of the lithium energy assemblage beyond Bolivia with studies of lithium-ion battery production, EV manufacture and use, and green energy mobilization and networking.

The project’s Ph.D. student also finalized plans to return to Bolivia in July 2020 to begin thirteen months of doctoral fieldwork focusing on the lithium industrialization process in Llipi, research and development activities in Palca, social and political engagement with lithium industrialization by the main civic organization (COMCIPO) in the historic city of Potosí, and conducting extended periods of research in key villages located on the borders of the Salar de Uyuni.