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Title: An assessment of U.S. rare earth availability for supporting U.S. wind energy growth targets

Abstract

Global initiatives are focused on deploying clean energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, many of these technologies rely heavily on a volatile rare earth element (REE) supply chain. In 2016, the global supply of these REEs continues to be concentrated within a small number of countries while clean energy demand continues to grow. To address the critical nature of these REEs, global efforts have been made to diversify supply of REEs. However, it is unclear if the success of these efforts, combined with the most-promising domestic REO production capacity, will be enough to ensure REE supply for domestic clean energy technology demand, including wind energy. We apply a static and dynamic approach to estimate U.S. REE production capacity and its associated effect on U.S. wind energy growth out to 2030. Our static approach shows that U.S. light REE supply from the Mountain Pass, Bear Lodge and potential Phosphate mines operating at maximum production capacity could provide significant light REE supply to satisfy U.S. targets for wind energy REE consumption. Furthermore, when we consider market dynamics, domestic light REE production is inadequate for alleviating the supply constraint which limits overall U.S. wind energy growth out to 2030.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Manufacturing Office (EE-5A)
OSTI Identifier:
1481276
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1529419
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-17-41511-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Policy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; rare earth; wind energy; system dynamics; supply chain

Citation Formats

Imholte, D. D., Nguyen, R. T., Vedantam, A., Brown, M., Iyer, A., Smith, B. J., Collins, J. W., Anderson, C. G., and O’Kelley, B. An assessment of U.S. rare earth availability for supporting U.S. wind energy growth targets. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.001.
Imholte, D. D., Nguyen, R. T., Vedantam, A., Brown, M., Iyer, A., Smith, B. J., Collins, J. W., Anderson, C. G., & O’Kelley, B. An assessment of U.S. rare earth availability for supporting U.S. wind energy growth targets. United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.001.
Imholte, D. D., Nguyen, R. T., Vedantam, A., Brown, M., Iyer, A., Smith, B. J., Collins, J. W., Anderson, C. G., and O’Kelley, B. Tue . "An assessment of U.S. rare earth availability for supporting U.S. wind energy growth targets". United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.001. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1481276.
@article{osti_1481276,
title = {An assessment of U.S. rare earth availability for supporting U.S. wind energy growth targets},
author = {Imholte, D. D. and Nguyen, R. T. and Vedantam, A. and Brown, M. and Iyer, A. and Smith, B. J. and Collins, J. W. and Anderson, C. G. and O’Kelley, B.},
abstractNote = {Global initiatives are focused on deploying clean energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, many of these technologies rely heavily on a volatile rare earth element (REE) supply chain. In 2016, the global supply of these REEs continues to be concentrated within a small number of countries while clean energy demand continues to grow. To address the critical nature of these REEs, global efforts have been made to diversify supply of REEs. However, it is unclear if the success of these efforts, combined with the most-promising domestic REO production capacity, will be enough to ensure REE supply for domestic clean energy technology demand, including wind energy. We apply a static and dynamic approach to estimate U.S. REE production capacity and its associated effect on U.S. wind energy growth out to 2030. Our static approach shows that U.S. light REE supply from the Mountain Pass, Bear Lodge and potential Phosphate mines operating at maximum production capacity could provide significant light REE supply to satisfy U.S. targets for wind energy REE consumption. Furthermore, when we consider market dynamics, domestic light REE production is inadequate for alleviating the supply constraint which limits overall U.S. wind energy growth out to 2030.},
doi = {10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.001},
journal = {Energy Policy},
number = C,
volume = 113,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

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