U.S. DOE Picks Five Critical REEs
Source: Resource Investor, Philip Burgert (12/15/10)
"Risk of supply disruption plagues several energy technologies."
According to an executive summary, the report found that several energy technologies—among them wind turbines, electric vehicles, photovoltaic cells and fluorescent lighting—use materials that are at risk of supply disruptions in the medium and long term. It also found that cleantech energies currently account for about 20% of global critical-materials consumption but that as clean energy is deployed more widely in coming decades this share will likely grow.
The report concluded that sound policies and strategic investments could reduce the risk of supply disruptions. They said data on many of the issues identified in the report was sparse, however. Plans for further work on the subject and updated critical material strategy by the end of next year are also planned, officials said.
The strategy calls for diversified global supply chains, taking steps to facilitate extraction, processing and manufacturing in the United States, development of substitutes and research into recycling.
"This strategy is an important step in planning for growing global demand for clean energy products that help strengthen the U.S. economy and create jobs," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, adding, "ensuring reliable access to critical materials will help the United States in the new clean-energy economy."