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Updated May 22, 2024

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Critical Materials

Initiative focused on minerals, batteries, and essential energy transition technologies

Overview

Security of supply of critical minerals more than ever threatens the pace of the energy transition. The electrification of energy use and decarbonization of the power sector is the single largest priority if we’re going to significantly reduce our carbon emissions. But low carbon electricity such as offshore and onshore wind turbines, solar PV, and nuclear energy need far more critical minerals than coal and gas- fired power plants. Similarly, electric vehicles need at least five times as many critical minerals than conventional cars. The grid infrastructure to transmit this electricity, which is in dire need of upgrading all over the world, also guzzles critical minerals. There can be no energy transition without sustainable mining and supply chain security.

Mission

In response to the critical minerals security crisis, the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Critical Minerals Supply Chains initiative works to better understand and develop more secure and more sustainable critical mineral and battery supply chains.

The mission of the initiative is to identify and provide recommendations that address the needs, barriers, and opportunities to scaling up investment in and production of critical minerals and battery supply chains to meet the needs of the energy transition in a way that is sustainable, secure, and just. This program will address all components of mineral security, including international cooperation, security of supply, price stability, resilience, and accessibility.

Focus

The iInitiative focuses on two technology supply chains; batteries and essential transition technologies and a subset of priority critical minerals needed in those supply chains—copper, lithium, graphite, nickel, manganese, cobalt, rare earth elements, and platinum group metals. Our focus is on establishing global supply chain requirements by delving into the unique needs and roles of key regional markets, specifically in the US and Canada, China, Latin America, India, and Europe.

Goals

  • Develop a shared understanding on the scope of the challenge based on technical and non-technical research.
  • Be a trusted source of information, both qualitative and quantitative, for energy transition stakeholders and act as counsel about what is needed (technical & non-technical) to achieve a higher level of security of supply of key critical minerals.
  • Be a nonpartisan convening center to support and train thought leaders on the necessary strategies to identify said needs, barriers, and opportunities to improve a sustainable and secure critical mineral supply.

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Critical Materials

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