As a result, rare earth metals have been identified as a troubling area of potential risk for a number of prominent clean energy technologies including wind energy, electric cars, fuel cells, and energy efficient lighting.
Although positive initiatives offer the potential for market alleviation in the long term, the short term picture for the clean technology will be characterized by a significant supply risk brought about by China’s strict new export quotas. This will almost certainly come to influence the adoption and commercialization of certain technologies across the cleantech industry.
It is therefore becoming increasingly important for respective clean technology manufacturers to assess their rare earth needs and explore options for reducing dependence. Up to this point, however, there has been very little evidence of this kind of assessment despite the increased market prices for critical rare earth metals.