EIT RawMaterials and the European Raw Materials Alliance have released a new raw materials roadmap that could help supply many of the EU’s raw materials needs for the future.
EIT RawMaterials and the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) have released the new roadmap ‘European Call for Action on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion.’ If followed and given an investment of at least €15bn, the new raw materials roadmap could supply the EU with the required raw materials by 2030 and beyond.
Securing a raw materials supply chain is crucial
Climate change requires a bold transformation of the economy. Metals and minerals will enable the European Green Deal and the shift to a circular green economy.
With the rise of renewable technologies, more raw materials will be required. Many of these are critical and are not easily found in Europe.
Some of these energy source, such as wind and solar power, are intermittent. This means that they are not always available or consistent.
Energy storage and conversion systems are therefore needed to support the variability of these sources to ensure that energy is available when needed. These systems also require a large number of raw materials.
Because of this, the challenge of securing the growing demand for raw materials is now at the top of the political agenda.
In March, the EU launched its proposed legal framework, the Critical Raw Materials Act. This is viewed by the metals and minerals sector as the most vital action needed to reform the industry.
The new raw materials roadmap provides guidance on developing the entire value chain
The European Call for Action on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion provides a roadmap for creating a raw materials value chain – from exploration to recycling.
It addresses four primary strategic areas: materials in solar energy, battery materials, fuel cells, electrolysis, and alternative energy storage and conversion.
Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials, emphasised the importance of securing a sustainable raw materials supply chain: “For the past two years, we have seen a sudden surge in geopolitical disruption and instability that has shaken Europe to the core. Europe needs to rapidly expand and develop its own domestic raw materials pipeline to feed the renewables sector, like wind turbines and solar panels, but also other industry sectors, such as defence and e-mobility.
“Europe must ramp up extraction and processing capacities domestically, which will not only decarbonise industry but also provide robust quantities of feedstock to enable a fully functioning recycling economy for raw material.”
The new roadmap, which involved the contribution of over 100 ERMA stakeholders, outlines concrete actions and recommendations. The European Call for Action on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion also highlights investments and opportunities and addresses policy bottlenecks and raw materials demand gaps.
If these actions are followed and supported with financial investment, Europe will be one step closer to achieving the goals of the Green Deal.
To successfully complete the twin green and digital transformation, Europe must anticipate and quantify the enormous raw materials investment needs required for energy storage and conversation.