Critical metals in the path towards the decarbonisation of the EU energy sector
Assessing rare metals as supply-chain bottlenecks in low-carbon energy technologies
In order to tackle climate change, to increase energy supply security and to foster the sustainability and competitiveness of the European economy, the EU has made the transition to a low-carbon economy a central policy priority. This report builds on the first study conducted by the JRC in 2011 (Critical Metals in Strategic Energy Technologies), where critical metals were identified, which could become a bottleneck to the supply-chain of the low-carbon energy technologies addressed by the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), namely: wind, solar (both PV and CSP), CCS, nuclear fission, bioenergy and the electricity grid. Fourteen metals were identified to be a cause for concern. After taking into account market and geopolitical parameters, five metals were labelled 'critical', namely: tellurium, indium, gallium, neodymium and dysprosium. The potential supply chain constraints for these materials were most applicable to the deployment of wind and PV energy technologies.