This report examines the role of rare earth metals and other materials in the clean energy economy. In the report, DOE describes plans to (i) develop its first integrated research agenda addressing critical materials, building on three technical workshops convened by the Department during November and December 2010; (ii) strengthen its capacity for information-gathering on this topic; and (iii) work closely with international partners, including Japan and Europe, to reduce vulnerability to supply disruptions and address critical material needs. DOE will work with other stakeholders—including interagency colleagues, Congress and the public—to shape policy tools that strengthen the United States’ strategic capabilities. DOE also announces its plan to develop an updated critical materials strategy, based upon additional events and information, by the end of 2011.
This report examines the role that rare earth metals and other key materials play in clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells, and energy-efficient lighting. The report found that several clean energy technologies use materials at risk of supply disruptions in the short term, with risks generally decreasing in the medium and long terms. Supply challenges for five rare earth metals (dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium, and yttrium) may affect clean energy technology deployment in the years ahead.