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

ime, 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.


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

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