A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Critical materials in global low-carbon energy scenarios: The case for neodymium, dysprosium, lithium, and cobalt

Publication Details
Authors: Junne Tobias, Wulff Niklas, Breyer Christian, Naegler Tobias
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Energy
Journal acronym: Energy
Volume number: 211
ISSN: 0360-5442
eISSN: 1873-6785
JUFO-Level of this publication: 3
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication

The requirements for neodymium, dysprosium, lithium, and cobalt in power generation, storage and transport technologies until 2050 under six global energy scenarios are assessed. We consider plausible developments in the subtechnology markets for lithium-ion batteries, wind power, and electric motors for road transport. Moreover, we include the uncertainties regarding the specific material content of these subtechnologies and the reserve and resource estimates. Furthermore, the development of the material demand in non-energy sectors is considered. The results show that the material requirements increase with the degree of ambition of the scenarios. The maximum annual primary material demand of the scenarios exceeds current extraction volumes by a factor of 3 to9 (Nd), 7 to 35 (Dy), 12 to 143 (Li), and 2 to 22 (Co). The ratios of cumulative primary material demand to average reserve estimates range from 0.1 to 0.3 (Nd), 0.3 to 1.1 (Dy), 0.7 to 6.5 (Li), and 0.8 to 5.5 (Co). Average resource estimates of Li and Co are exceeded by up to a factor of 2.1 and 1.7, respectively. We recommend that future scenario studies on the energy system transformation consider the influence of possible material bottlenecks on technology prices and substitution technology options.

Last updated on 2021-16-03 at 12:47