About the Publication

The geopolitics of metals and metalloids used for the renewable energy transition


This study examines the geopolitical role of 14 metals and metalloids needed for renewable energy technologies. The analysis focuses on three factors with potential geopolitical importance: the geographic concentration of resources, potential revenues of resources rich countries and the size of total global markets.

The geographic concentration of most of the fourteen studied metals and metalloids will be higher than for oil. The only exceptions are tellurium, copper and silicon. The economic revenues as fraction of total economic throughput will be rather low for most of the countries studied. This will reduce the risk for a resource curse to emerge. The exceptions are the Democratic republic of Congo, Chile, Cuba, Madagascar and Zambia. The total economic value of the studied metals and metalloids will also be much smaller than the current oil market.


Keywords: Critical material; Resource curse; Renewable energy; Energy transition; Decarbonization

Authors of this publication

André Månberger , Bengt Johansson ,