Raw materials for the energy transition

As the energy transition is picking up speed, so is the demand for certain raw materials. Germany is thus working hard to ensure a secure and sustainable supply of these materials, which form the basis for keeping the economy going and meeting the climate targets.

Eine Person in Warnweste und mit Handschuhen hält ein Gestein in den Händen.© iStock.com/SeventyFour

Electric cars, heat pumps, wind turbines, solar panels – the faster these technologies are taken up around the globe, the faster global demand for the raw materials needed for their production will grow.

In its World Energy Outlook Special Report on the role of critical minerals in clean energy transitions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the demand for critical raw materials, which are necessary for meeting the Paris goals, could grow sevenfold for rare earth elements and even 42-fold for lithium between 2020 and 2040 (IEA 2021).

At the end of June, the ministers for economic affairs of Germany, France and Italy agreed to engage in close cooperation to secure access to critical raw materials. “In concrete terms, we therefore should cooperate more closely in the areas of the extraction and processing of raw materials and jointly drive forward the circular economy. We also want to provide even better support for companies as they seek to secure a sustainable supply of raw materials,” Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented on the agreement.