A Strategy to Increase the Resource Efficiency of Renewable Energy Technologies
Achieving climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires a transformation of the electricity production sector from conventional power plants towards renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics and wind turbines. In line with the focus of this book to explore the interdependencies of sustainable development paths and associated resource requirements, this chapter aims at investigating the possibility of a raw material supply risk as a result of the global energy transformation process. Results indicate that the installation of photovoltaics and wind turbines will be constraint by the production capacity of raw material. If the production capacity of raw materials can be increased to ease possible bottlenecks, further installation of renewable energy technologies will eventually exhaust the reserve levels of metals such as dysprosium, neodymium and silver. Establishing an effective closed-loop recycling process and increasing material efficiency measures are essential in combating any possible supply risks in the future.