The U.S. Department of Energy released its 2023 Critical Materials Assessment, accompanied by its 2023 Critical Materials List. The Assessment evaluated the criticality of materials for global clean energy supply chains, with a focus on key materials that can be at risk to supply disruption. Key materials include aluminum, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, electrical steel (grain-oriented steel, non-grain-oriented steel, and amorphous steel), fluorine, gallium, iridium, lithium, magnesium, natural graphite, neodymium, nickel, platinum, praseodymium, terbium, silicon, and silicon carbide. These are critical to many clean energy generation, transmission, storage, and end-use technologies, such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, power electronics, lighting, electric vehicles, and associated sensors and controls. The Assessment and List build on prior DOE work and complements assessments from the U.S Geological Survey and others. This work not only informs DOE’s research, development, demonstration and commercialization programs but will also inform eligibility for the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) provisions under the Inflation Reduction Act.
As discussed in the NASEO report, Critical Energy-Related Minerals: Considerations for State Energy Planning, Policy, and Programs, states are increasingly considering how critical materials offer opportunities as well as challenges not only in material mining, processing, and recycling but also in downstream clean energy technology manufacturing and deployment.