A shortage of “rare earth” metals, used in everything from electric car batteries to solar panels to wind turbines, is hampering the growth of renewable energy technologies. Researchers are now working to find alternatives to these critical elements or better ways to recycle them.
rare earth metals
U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elements rather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American
On April 18, 2011, Molycorp, a U.S. based producer of rare earth metals and owner of the largest rare earth mine outside of China, announced that it has acquired a processing facility to manufacture rare earth magnets. According to CNET, Molycorp paid $17.5 million to Japan-based Santoku for its U.S.
China’s influence over the global rare earth metals (REM) markets has come under increased international scrutiny following recent measures by the Chinese Government aimed at strengthening control over its fragmented REM industry.
China currently accounts for 36 percent of REM reserves and 97 percent of worldwide