GLRPPR Sector Resource: Critical Materials Factsheet
Critical Materials Factsheet
Minerals are integral to the functioning of modern society. They are found in countless products such as aircraft, communication systems, electric vehicles, lasers, naval vessels, and various types of consumer electronics and lighting. However, some of these minerals are in limited supply and techniques for their extraction incur high environmental and financial costs. Given their necessity in a plethora of technological applications, concern exists over whether supply can meet the needs of the economy in the future. Material criticality is assessed in terms of supply risk, vulnerability to supply restriction, and environmental implications. Several rare earth elements (REEs) and other minerals critical to producing solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting could face supply shortages within the next five to ten years. Unless action is taken, the U.S. could face an annual shortfall of up to $3.2 billion worth of critical materials.
Center for Sustainable Systems - University of Michigan
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