Energy transition and demand for raw materials

September 6th 2017 - 09:59

Energy transition, necessary for the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, requires development and large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies. These will increase global demand for different minerals and metals, what mandates a wide range of adjustments at the state level. The need to re-think, reduce, replace, recycle, redesign and re-distribute the use of scarce commodities is particularly heightened.

The message put forward at the 2017 Raw Materials Conference on June 23rd in The Hague was threefold: 1) realizing energy transition requires large amounts of raw materials and a significant upscaling of mining activities; 2) such activities have to be carried out in a sustainable manner, and should respect human rights, the needs of local communities, and the environment; 3) transition to a circular economy model in product chains is required to mitigate existing and emerging challenges in the short run. Circular design of windmills and solar panels is needed.

The challenges, takeaways and recommendations outlined in this policy paper were compiled on the basis of extensive in-house research, information gleaned at the round-table and the raw materials conference, and reflect the informed opinions of relevant stakeholders representing the government, private industry and knowledge institutes.

Download the policy paper via the button on the right. 

Michel Rademaker is the deputy Director of HCSS. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. He has a masters degree obtained at the University of Tilburg. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor on security topics for ten years. Eg. as NATO RTO project leader, he and his team developed serious gaming assessment methods and conducted several assessments of security technologies, and worked on numerous strategic security topics.