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The Department of Energy released a strategy on critical materials at an event this morning at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. The report examines the role of rare earth metals and other materials used in four clean energy technologies: wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy-efficient lighting.
You can download the full 171-page report and a 4-page executive summary here.
The strategy analyzes 14 elements and identifies five specific rare earth metals, dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium, as well as indium, as the most critical based on importance to clean energy technologies and supply risk.
The strategy also explores eight policy and program areas that could help reduce vulnerabilities and address critical material needs, including research and development, information-gathering, permitting for domestic production, financial assistance for domestic production and processing, stockpiling, recycling, education and diplomacy.
Building on this strategy, the Department will work closely with its national labs, other federal agencies, Congress and international partners to develop its first integrated research agenda on critical materials and strengthen its information-gathering capacity to proactively address supply and demand for products that contain these critical metals.
An updated report will be issued by the end of 2011.