Given a potential increase in low-carbon power generation, assessing the criticality of metals used for its technologies is of significant importance. While several studies analyzed the metal criticality of an individual technology, the national metal criticality for a wide range of low-carbon power generation technologies and the comparison of overall criticality of each technology have yet to be fully evaluated. Therefore, this study firstly evaluates the criticality of 29 metals used in facilities for renewable energy and highly efficient thermal power generation in Japan and then compares the overall criticality for each technology to identify metals that might impose limitations on these technologies and to discuss measures for removal of factors hindering the spread of low-carbon power generation technologies. It was discovered that solar power generation technology is the most critical technology from the perspective of supply risk due to the use of indium, cadmium and selenium, while wind power generation is the most critical technology from the perspective of vulnerability to supply restriction because of the use of neodymium and dysprosium. A developed approach would have a significant potential to contributing to energy-mineral nexus, which may assist in providing policy implications from the perspectives of both specific metals and technologies.
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