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DoE Allocates $120M To Avert Critical Materials Shortage

The US Department of Energy allocated $120 million to make sure near-term supply of five rare earth metals, dysprosium, terbium, europium, neodymium and yttrium, will be ensured. These materials are essential components of advanced wind turbines, solar cells as well as electric vehicles and energy efficient lighting. For this purpose a new Energy Innovation Hub is launched, lead by the Ames Laboratory in Iowa, called the Critical Materials Institute and modelled after the successful Bioenergy Research Centers, founded under president Bush. DoE: “The new Hub will focus on technologies that will enable us to make better use of the materials we have access to as well as eliminate the need for materials that are subject to supply disruptions“.

[wikipedia] – rare earth elements

energy rare earth production[source]


Rare Earths Forecast[source]

Skyrocketing prices for rare earths after imposition of Chinese export restrictions.



Youtube text: This video, produced by Molycorp, Inc., provides a brief introduction to the many uses of rare earth elements.

Youtube text: PBS Newhour Report of December 15th 2009 about the Environmental Impact of Mining Rare Minerals in China which are also used for ‘green’ products such as wind turbines, hybrid cars etc.

Youtube text: VOA’s Philip Alexiou talks with the President and CEO of Avalon Rare Metals who recently visited the New York Stock Exchange. Don Bubar who leads the Toronto based company talks about the kinds of rare earth metals Avalon will focus on and how China’s rare earth supply policy is affecting the metals and minerals market.

Youtube text: Rare earth elements have recently become an issue in the media and on the national agenda, despite years of relative obscurity. This group of 17 elements is critical to the production of automotive components, communications technologies, clean energy sources, weapons systems, traditional fuel refineries, and countless other technologies. This panel is intended to address questions of key policy importance: What do the recent market developments mean for the rare earths industry? How should the United States respond to the changing market trends? What are the implications for the cleantech manufacturing sector?

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