News Digest Item
29 Jun 2018

Germany’s raw material needs for energy transition could exceed supply by 2035

German Federal Government

The demand for raw materials needed for the production of renewable energy sources, e-cars and other energy transition technologies could exceed supply by 2035, the German government says in its reply to a parliamentary inquiry filed by the Free Democrats (FDP). The government has identified 16 “highly relevant” materials for the Energiewende, global demand for eight of which - including lithium, cobalt, germanium, and tantalum - will be bigger in 2035 than global production in 2013 if current trends persist, the government says. “Any exact figure on future demand is highly speculative, however,” the government adds, because different competing technologies have quite different raw material needs. According to a study conducted by the German Environment Agency (UBA), the country’s total raw material demand is set to shrink under the Energiewende, as the use of non-recyclable materials, such as oil, will drop. The demand for imported raw materials could also be influenced by the rate of recycling and the “urban mining” of electronic and industrial scrap.

Find the government’s answer in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and the dossier The energy transition’s effect on the economy for background.

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