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Critical materials in low-carbon technologies

The world is moving towards a greener future. To reduce greenhouse gas production we need new energy sources to replace our use of fossil fuel. In the near future we will need to drastically increase the production of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and batteries. Unfortunately some of the materials needed for the production of these technologies are scarce.

In this animation JRC addresses this issue to create awareness among citizens and policy makers. It is crucial to take our long term supply, usage and recycling of these critical materials seriously.











Ensuring a secure and undistorted supply of materials is crucial to underpin a large deployment of low-carbon technologies and therefore meet the European targets for renewable, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. Special concerns are related to the supply of certain materials, defined as "critical raw materials". These critical materials combine a high economic importance to the EU with a high risk associated with their supply.

In the context of the European transition to a low-carbon economy and a sustainable energy system, the JRC assessed the EU resilience to potential bottlenecks in the supply chain of key materials required in wind power, photovoltaic (PV) energy and electric vehicle (EV) technologies up to 2030. The analysis is based on a comprehensive methodology, which relies on sets of indicators aggregated in two supply chain dimensions: upstream and downstream.

More information about methodology, key findings and conclusions can be found in the report "Assessment of potential bottlenecks along the materials supply chain for the future deployment of low-carbon energy and transport technologies in the EU".

See video underneath on how materials can impact the future EU plans for deployment of clean energy and transport technologies.