The ongoing energy transition, aimed at the decarbonization of critical sectors, is shifting the perspective from fossil raw materials to those needed to create new sustainable technologies.
In this respect, Corriere della Sera (the most widespread mainstream newspaper in Italy) has dedicated an article to such topic, asking Matteo Codazzi (CESI Group CEO) to explain the implications of such transition, offering possible solutions to counterbalance the geopolitical axis when it comes to rare earth elements.
According to our CEO, “Having control over the technologies that determine the energy transition will be the key to allowing one's own country-system or economic area to obtain a competitive advantage over other competing areas.”
Such advantage, according to the EU Commission report Critical Raw Materials for Strategic Technologies and Sectors in the EU, is now in the hands of China, as “China satisfies between 98% and 99% of Europe's rare earth elements needs, which depends for 93% on China also for magnesium, used in fuel cells.”
Nevertheless, in order to reduce the gap, in addition to the recycling of materials, Europe should “focus on the substitution of these materials with other less critical ones (for example with the use of wind turbines without permanent magnets, which need rare earths), on the adoption of less impacting technologies for extraction of these materials (for example with the use of lithium extracted from geothermal vapor instead of mining lithium) or on the domestic extraction and processing of these materials, which Europe possesses,” says the CESI CEO.
To learn more about this, you can read the full article, in Italian, at this link.