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August 10, 2022

US seeks public input on critical materials research programme

The programme will address issues in domestic critical materials supply chain, including hurdles to clean energy transition.

The US Government is asking for public feedback on the $675m Critical Materials Research Programme, which is aimed at strengthening domestic critical materials supply chains.

Via the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Biden-Harris Administration issued a request for information (RFI) on the development as well as the implementation of a critical materials research, development, demonstration, and commercialisation programme.

The programme will focus on addressing issues in the domestic critical materials supply chain, including economic disadvantages and hurdles to the clean energy transition.

Critical materials include rare-earth elements, lithium, nickel, and cobalt, which are needed to produce clean energy technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.

Financed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the programme aims to accelerate domestic sourcing and production to help improve America’s position as a global manufacturing leader.

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said: “We can follow through on President Biden’s clean energy commitments and make our nation more secure by increasing our ability to source, process, and manufacture critical materials right here at home.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supporting DOE’s effort to invest in the building blocks of clean energy technologies, which will revitalise America’s manufacturing leadership and bring along the benefits of good paying jobs.”

According to the DOE, the demand for critical materials globally is anticipated to surge 400%-600% over the next several decades.

The DOE looks to boost domestic raw-materials production and manufacturing capacity to cut down dependence on foreign sources of critical materials besides securing America’s clean energy supply chain.

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