Demand for critical materials is expected to increase by 400-600% over the next several decades.
The US Government, through the US Department of Energy (DoE), has issued a request for information on the development and implementation of a $675 million Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration and Commercialisation Program.
The DoE said that the Program will address vulnerabilities in the domestic critical materials supply chain, which are both an economic disadvantage and impediment to the clean energy transition. Critical materials, including lithium, nickel and cobalt, are needed in the production to clean energy technologies including batteries and electric vehicles.
The Critical Materials Research Program request for information is seeking feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, state and local coalitions, labour unions, indigenous groups, community-based organisations and all interested parties. Particular focus is given to the structure of planned programs, and distribution of funds. Comments can be submitted to CriticalMaterialsProgramRFI@ee.doe.gov and must be received by 9 September 2022.
The DoE said that demand for critical materials is expected to increase by 400-600% over the next several decades. For some materials, such as lithium and graphite, demand is expected to increase by as much as 4000%. The DoE’s strategy calls for increased domestic raw materials production and manufacturing, reducing dependence on foreign sources of critical materials.
In the meantime, the UK Government has released its approach for securing critical minerals having published a Policy Paper setting out the UK’s ‘first ever critical minerals strategy’ which aims to improve the security of these products. Launched during July 2022 the Paper: Resilience for the future: The UK’s Critical Minerals Strategy sets out the Government’s plan to secure supply chains by ‘boosting domestic capability in a way that generates new jobs, wealth, attracting investment and playing a leading role in solving global challenges [alongside] international partners.’
Introducing the Policy Paper, Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: ‘The Strategy sets out our ambitions to work with other countries to strengthen trading and diplomatic relationships, and efforts to make supply chains more diverse, transparent, responsible and resilient. This will create opportunities for UK companies overseas and make sure UK businesses are trading on a level playing field.’
Kwasi Kwarteng, (Picture above) said: ‘The Strategy sets out our ambitions to work with other countries to strengthen trading and diplomatic relationships, and efforts to make supply chains more diverse, transparent, responsible and resilient.’
During 2021, the UK Government set up its Critical Minerals Expert Committee, which is focused on leveraging the UK’s extensive research expertise for the development of a Critical Minerals Strategy.