Navigation Links
Rare earth metal shortages could hamper deployment of low-carbon energy technologies
Date:11/10/2011

Following the release of a Commission report on critical raw materials in 2010, scientists at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) highlighted in a new report that five metals, essential for manufacturing low-carbon technologies, show a high risk of shortage. Reasons for this lie in Europe's dependency on imports, increasing global demand, supply concentration and geopolitical issues. The report recommends actions to prevent shortages and thus allow a smooth implementation of the Commission's Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of low carbon technologies.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "European companies need to have a secure, affordable and undistorted access to raw materials. This is essential for industrial competitiveness, innovation and jobs in Europe. Today's report highlights that we are on the right track with our raw materials strategy".

Following the Commission's report on critical raw materials at EU level last year, the JRC has now carried out an in depth analysis of the use of raw materials, especially metals, in the six priority low-carbon energy technologies of the Commission's SET-Plan: nuclear, solar, wind, bio-energy, carbon capture and storage and electricity grids.

The study Critical Metals in Strategic Energy Technologies reveals that five metals commonly used in these technologies neodymium, dysprosium, indium, tellurium and gallium show a high risk of shortage. Europe depends on imports for many of these, for which there is rapidly increasing global demand and limited supply, often concentrated in a few countries with associated political risks. Furthermore, they are not easily recyclable or substitutable.

A large-scale deployment of solar energy technologies, for example, will require half the current world supply of tellurium and 25% of the supply of indium. At the same time, the envisaged deployment of wind energy technology in Europe will require large amounts of neodymium and dysprosium, (about 4% of the current global supply each) for permanent magnet generators, which could only be eased if the supply of such metals in the future is increased, which may not be simple. Virtually the whole European supply of these metals comes from China.

The report considers possible strategies to avoid or mitigate shortage of these metals, including promoting recycling and reuse and looking into substitution by other less critical materials. Further measures could be alternative technologies and even increasing Europe's primary production, for example by opening new or dormant mines.

Similar studies will be made by the JRC in the near future on other energy technologies that also use strategic metals, such as electric vehicles, electricity storage, lighting and fuel cells.


'/>"/>
Contact: Francesca Micheletti
francesca.micheletti@ext.ec.europa.eu
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Send your name around the Earth on NASAS Glory mission
2. Earth scientists keep an eye on Texas
3. Barcelona Declaration 2008: Challenges and Pathways to Earth Sustainability
4. Research center to free chemistry from Earths bonds
5. ICSU launches new program to understand the human impact on Earths life-support systems
6. Earthworm activity can alter forests carbon-carrying capabilities
7. Similarities in imaging the human body, Earths crust focus of conference at UH
8. September 2007 Sumatran earthquakes research findings
9. Earths original ancestor was LUCA, not Adam nor Eve
10. To improve forecasting earthquakes, NJIT mathematician studies grains
11. Census of Marine Life and ocean in Google Earth bring ocean information to life
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, ... Heart Association (AHA) announced plans to develop a first ... cognitive computing power of IBM Watson. In the first ... disease, AHA, IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok ... metrics and health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier ... publication industries, will provide the data management solution OMERO ... Photo ... Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics ... allowing comparisons between states such as health and disease, ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce the attainment of record-setting corporate ... of the company,s laser focus on (and growing international ... comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based technology platform. ... growth achievements in 2015 include: , Record ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 ASAE is introducing a hybrid membership ... (AMC) the option of joining or renewing through an ... by staff size, every employee in any size association ... reap all available member benefits.   John ... membership options will allow organizations of any size and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing in ... companies, announced today the appointment of Jim ... brings nearly 25 years of experience in supply ... nearly two decades in executive level roles as ... Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... highly anticipated expansion to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. ... Sonablate® HIFU procedures performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the ... it has been selected to present at the Cavendish Global Health Impact Forum taking ... The purpose of the Forum is to help family offices and foundations develop and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: