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05 May 2021 11:00—12:00 Release

The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions – World Energy Outlook Special Report

Minerals are an essential component for many of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies – from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles. But ensuring that these and other key technologies can continue to rely on sufficient mineral supplies to support the acceleration of clean energy transitions is a significant and often-ignored challenge.

Debates around energy security have traditionally focused on oil and natural gas supplies – and more recently on electricity. But as energy transitions gather pace, policy makers need to expand their horizons to include new potential risks. While key minerals help reduce emissions by enabling higher performance of clean energy technologies, their extraction and processing often has environmental and social implications that need to be carefully managed.

This new World Energy Outlook special report aims to explain the complex links between clean energy technologies and minerals, assess the supply challenges that could affect an acceleration of energy transitions, and explore the implications for policy makers as they seek to balance ensuring reliable supplies with promoting responsible and sustainable development of mineral resources.