Policy Briefs & Reports
Critical Materials Strategy
U.S. Department of Energy - December 9, 2010
Each day, researchers, entrepreneurs and many others across the United States are working to develop and deploy the clean energy technologies that will enhance our security, reduce pollution and promote prosperity.
Many new and emerging clean energy technologies, such as the components of wind turbines and electric vehicles, depend on materials with unique properties. The availability of a number of these materials is at risk due to their location, vulnerability to supply disruptions and lack of suitable substitutes.
As part of the Department of Energy's efforts to advance a clean energy economy, we have developed a Critical Materials Strategy...
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Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
Congressional Research Service - September 30, 2010
The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability. REEs are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. Is the United States vulnerable to supply disruptions of REEs? Are these elements essential to U.S. national security and economic well-being?
There are 17 rare earth elements (REEs), 15 within the chemical group called lanthanides, plus yttrium and scandium. The lanthanides consist of the...
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Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain
Briefing for Congression Committees - April 1, 2010
This letter formally transmits the enclosed briefing in response to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-84), which required GAO to submit a report on rare earth materials in the defense supply chain to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives by April 1, 2010. As required, we provided a copy of this briefing to the committees on April 1, 2010, and subsequently briefed...
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China's Rare Earth Elements Industry: What Can the West Learn?
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) - March 2010
China controls approximately 97 percent of the world's rare earth element market. These elements, which are not widely known because they are so low on the production chain, are critical to hundreds of high tech applications, many of which define our modern way of life. Without rare earth elements, much of the world's modern technology would be vastly different and many applications would not be possible. For one thing, we would not have the advantage of smaller sized technology, such as the cell phone and laptop computer, without the use of rare earth elements. Rare earth elements are also essential for the defense industry and are found in cruise missiles, precision....
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Rare Earth Minerals and 21st Century Industry
U. S. House of Representatives Committe on Science and Technology: Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight- March 16, 2010
The United States, as part of its strategy to reduce emissions from electricity generation and transportation, is investing significant funds in renewable energy technologies such as wind power and hybrid vehicles. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $2.3 billion for advanced energy manufacturing facilities, including wind turbine manufacturing plants. The Act further makes available $2 billion "…for Advanced Battery Manufacturing grants to support the manufacturing of advanced vehicle batteries and components…" Yet these investments may fail to prompt the desired outcome – a buoyant industry producing renewable energy....
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