What’s contributing to the growing demand for Rare Earth Elements?
There are currently several trends contributing to the growing demand for Rare Earth Elements (REEs). These include government initiatives, transitions toward green technology, and a greater need for REEs in electronics. As documented by Adamas Intelligence, government initiatives designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and modernize infrastructure will be the main driver of this demand:
"Looking ahead at the defining trends shaping global rare earth element demand, it is clear that the majority of new demand growth over the next ten years will stem from roots in government-led policy, regulations, mandates and initiatives. Specifically we forecast that over 50% of all new global rare earth demand growth over the coming ten years will be directly or indirectly driven by government-led actions."
Here are some examples of the national government initiatives driving this demand:
- The United States is making a $1.7 trillion investment in green technology and has implemented an Executive Order to secure domestic REE production (Canada is considered domestic under this order)
- Canada is targeting carbon neutrality by 2050 with green jobs and technology set to play a major role in the economic recovery from COVID-19
- The European Union is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, and 10+ EU countries are phasing out internal combustion energy and aiming for 100% green energy by 2040
In addition, the booming electric vehicle (EV) market is another force driving REE demand. REEs play a key role in building traction motors for EVs, and this need will increase as the EV market expands. In addition to relatively new manufacturers such as Tesla and Rivian, many legacy automakers like Ford and GM are placing heavy emphasis on EVs.
The below graphic, produced as part of a 2020 study by the European Commission, shows the supply risk of REEs for some key sectors including renewables, electric vehicles, and defense and space. REEs fall into the highest supply risk category, reflecting their tenuous supply chain.
How can we respond to this growing need?
To meet the growing demand for REEs, the answer is simple: we need reliable, environmentally sustainable REE production that will support the North American-European supply chain. That’s exactly what we’re building at Search Minerals. With our patented, environmentally friendly extraction process, we’re here to help ensure a green future where innovative technology is accessible to everyone.
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