Critical Materials Strategy

Abstract:This report examines the role of rare earth metals and other materials in the clean energy economy. It was prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) based on data collected and research performed during 2010. Its main conclusions include: -- Several clean energy technologies--including wind turbines, electric vehicles, photovoltaic cells and fluorescent lighting--use materials at risk of supply disruptions in the short term. Those risks will generally decrease in the medium and long term. -- Clean energy technologies currently constitute about 20 percent of global consumption of critical materials. As clean energy technologies are deployed more widely in the decades ahead, their share of global consumption of critical materials will likely grow. -- Of the materials analyzed, five rare earth metals (dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium), as well as indium, are assessed as most critical in the short term. For this purpose, "criticality" is a measure that combines importance to the clean energy economy and risk of supply disruption. -- Sound policies and strategic investments can reduce the risk of supply disruptions, especially in the medium and long term. -- Data with respect to many of the issues considered in this report are sparse.


Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Resource Type: Article/report

Date of Publication: Not Available