Author: Marju Kõrts
Type: Separate Publications
Rare earth elements (REE) are key enablers for the ongoing energy and environmental transition as they are critical raw materials in many low-carbon technologies. Electric vehicles, batteries, solar photovoltaic systems, wind turbines and hydrogen technologies all require significantly more metals than their conventional alternatives to replace fossil fuel needs. Although the REE are often referred to as single group, in practice each individual element has a specific set of end-uses, and so demand varies between them. The current global rare earth supply chain is highly imbalanced and tightly controlled by just a few countries. Such an imbalance of the critical metals supply poses a significant challenge to the energy transition strategies and national security of many countries. Ukraine has long been referred to as “breadbasket of Europe”, this country has great potential to become the “minerals superpower in Europe” and a significant supplier of more than 20 elements from the list of critical raw materials.