The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supports a proactive and comprehensive approach to address the challenges associated with the use of rare earth elements and other critical materials in clean energy technologies. In 2010 the Department developed its first-ever Critical Materials Strategy based on three strategic pillars: 1) diversifying global supply chains to mitigate supply risk; 2) developing material and technology substitutes; and 3) promoting recycling, reuse and more efficient use to significantly lower global demand for critical materials. In 2011 DOE updated its criticality assessments and provided in-depth market and technology analyses in response to important developments during the year. DOE will continue to explore a variety program and policy directions, as appropriate, to address the challenges and opportunities across the critical materials supply chain.
Research and Development (R&D)
R&D is central to DOE’s approach. DOE is pursuing opportunities for international discussion and collaboration on research topics of shared interest. During November and December 2010, the Department convened three technical workshops on rare earth metals and other critical materials. More information on these workshops, including agendas and participant presentations, can be found below.
U.S. – Japan Roundtable on Rare Earth Elements Research and Development for Clean Energy Technologies, November 18-19, 2010
This bilateral workshop was held at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and featured R&D presentations covering the full supply chain for energy technologies using rare earth elements, including geological availability, recovery, separation, extraction, manufacturing, substitutes, and recycling.
Trans-Atlantic Workshop on Rare Earth Elements and Other Critical Materials for a Clean Energy Future, December 3, 2010
This meeting, held under the auspices of the U.S.-EU Energy Council and hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, focused on substitutes for and efficient use of critical materials.
ARPA-E Workshop on Rare Earth and Critical Materials, December 6, 2010
DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) convened scientists and engineers to address technical challenges in critical material use across a variety of energy applications.
To download the agenda, click here.
DOE will continue to pursue an integrated research plan that addresses critical materials challenges, in addition to collaborating with interagency and international partners. The Department expects to update its strategy periodically to reflect changing circumstances and feedback received. Accordingly, DOE welcomes comments on the Critical Materials Strategy and, in particular, any supplemental information that will enable the Department to refine its approach over time.
Comments and additional information can be sent to email@example.com.