Critical Materials for the Energy Transition: Rare Earth Elements

18 May 2022 |Virtual


Rare earth elements are a group of 17 chemical elements, several of which are critical for the energy transition. Neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium are key to the production of the permanent magnets in EVs and wind turbines, yttrium and scandium for hydrogen electrolysers, while europium, terbium and yttrium in energy-efficient fluorescent lighting. While conventional energy also relies on rare earth elements, the mix of energy-relevant rare earth elements that are needed going forward differs from the past.

Following the release of the recent IRENA technical paper Critical Materials for the Energy Transition: Rare Earth Elements, this webinar shared insights into demand and market growth projections of rare earth elements for EVs and wind turbines. It cast light on the supply side and the outlook for the mining and processing of rare earth elements, current costs and their implications, and approaches to enhance the security of rare earth elements supply including through the role of the innovation in reducing dependency on rare earth elements. IRENA’s presentation was followed by commentaries from several of our reviewers – from the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Natural Resources Canada, ENEL Foundation, Rare Earth Industry Association and Global Wind Energy Council.

The webinar was part of the activities under the Collaborative Framework on the Critical Materials for the Energy Transition.

The presentation slides can be found here.