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S. Carrara, P. A Dias, B. Plazzotta, and C. Pavel (2020)

Raw materials demand for wind and solar PV technologies in the transition towards a decarbonised energy system.

Publications Office of the European Union, 2020. (ISBN: 9789276162254).

Raw materials are essential to securing a transition to green energy technologies and for achieving the goals outlined in the European Green Deal. To meet the future energy demand through renewable energy sources, the power sector will face a massive deployment of wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. As a result, the consumption of raw materials needed to manufacture wind turbines and PV panels is expected to increase drastically in the coming decades. However, the EU industry is largely dependent on imports for many raw materials and in some cases is exposed to vulnerabilities in its supply. These issues raise concerns about the availability of some of the raw materials needed to meet the future deployment targets for the renewable energy technologies. This study aims to estimate the future demand for raw materials for wind turbines and solar PV in various decarbonisation scenarios. For the EU, the material demand trends were based on the EU legally binding 2030 targets and deployment scenarios aiming to achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050. At global level, the generation capacity scenarios were selected based on various global commitments to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve energy efficiency.

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