New US lab to tackle rare energy materials shortages

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has picked the winner for a $120 million (£74.7m) funding for an Energy Innovation Hub. Ames Laboratory in Iowa will develop solutions for the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has picked the winner for a $120 million (£74.7m) funding for an Energy Innovation Hub.

Ames Laboratory in Iowa will develop solutions for the domestic shortages of rare earth metals and other materials used in the clean energy industry.

Some of the materials identified as critical by the DOE are used in technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and energy efficient lighting.

David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said: “The Critical Materials Institute (CMI) will bring together the best and brightest research minds from universities, national laboratories and the private sector to find innovative technology solutions that will help us avoid a supply shortage that would threaten our clean energy industry as well as our security interests.”

The Department’s ‘2011 Critical Materials Strategy’ said supply challenges for five rare earth metals (dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium, and yttrium) could affect clean energy technology deployment in the coming years. CMI is the fifth Energy Innovation Hub established by the DOE since 2010.