Rare Earths in Renewables: The Story of Three Rs
This project will analyze the technological, health, and environmental aspects of Rare Earth Elements (REE) use and outline implications/ policy recommendations towards reducing their usage, recovery of the elements from used products or replacing them. More specifically, this project will study improved REE recovery from end-use products, how to minimize REE usage in products, alternative materials to replace REE in its industrial applications, how to improve mining and refining, review of domestic REE supplies, how to achieve geopolitically diverse and stable REE supplies, how to stockpile. The focus will be in REEs used in renewable energy and opto-electronic devices.
Rare earth elements are critical to several key industries and technologies, but 80% of their global supply is dominated by China. This report addresses the economic, geopolitical, environmental, and technological policy options for managing their future supply and demand.