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 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.
Our latest World Energy Outlook Special Report examines the complex links between clean energy technologies and minerals, assesses the supply challenges that could affect an acceleration of energy transitions, and explores the implications for policy makers as they seek to balance ensuring reliable supplies with promoting responsible and sustainable development of mineral resources. The report reflects the IEA’s determination to examine all aspects of energy security in a decarbonising world.