Transition to renewable energy could lead to development of cartels around critical materials supply chains, research paper finds

Author: Meghan O’Sullivan (Harvard University), Indra Overland (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs), David Sandalow (Columbia University), Published on: 17 July 2017

"The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy", June 2017

For a century, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the geopolitics of oil and gas. However, geopolitics and the global energy economy are both changing... At the same time, renew-able energy is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the geopolitics of renewable energy has received relatively little attention, especially when considering the far-reaching consequences of a global shift to renewable energy... The paper then discusses [...] mechanisms through which renewables could shape geopolitics.

Critical materials supply chains. As the transition to renewable energy accelerates, cartels could develop around materials critical to renewable energy technologies [including] rare earth elements [...] lithium, cobalt and indium.

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