The eleventh annual meeting of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment on October 14 highlighted the critical roles that geopolitics and climate change will play in affecting global supply chains and either assisting or hindering the transition to net-zero. Rare earths production has become increasingly concentrated in China, but countries are now looking for ways to diversify their supply chains following shifts in the geopolitical landscape. These rare earths, such as lanthanum and neodymium, are critical components of most modern electronics and the technologies needed for the clean energy transition.
Keynote speaker Amanda Lacaze, CEO of Lynas Rare Earths, said if governments want to diversify their supply chains, they need to take a long-term approach to industry development. She also emphasized the importance of long-term partnership-building, between organizations, businesses, governments and academic institutions. Jigar Shah, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, gave the second keynote of the day and spoke to the impact of the IRA on clean energy deployment, and the need for private industry’s engagement. Both Shah and Lacaze said that in order to develop supply chains and expand clean energy widely, entire industries need to be on board or newly created, and that single projects or contracts on their own won’t slow or reverse climate change.
Read the full story on the annual meeting