The Energy Transition and the Challenge of Critical Raw Materials Études de l'Ifri, January 2018
The geopolitical analyses of energy markets are traditionally focused on fossil fuels, and less on renewable energy sources.
Yet the huge development perspectives of these renewable energy sources (representing 2/3 of total net power generation capacity additions in 2016) trigger a need to take into account new challenges and vulnerabilities, related to the availability and affordability of critical raw materials, notably rare earths, which are needed to develop wind turbines, solar panels and energy storage technologies. Stakes are geopolitical, economic and environmental and are reinforced by a geography of resources and production which is concentrated within a few key countries and zones (China, Latin America, Australia, Congo mainly). The role of China in particular is at the core of the attention.
This content of this study is in French only "La transition énergétique face au défi des métaux critiques"