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Minerals 2019, 9(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020095

Evaluating Metal Criticality for Low-Carbon Power Generation Technologies in Japan

1
Advanced Architectural, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga 525-8577, Japan
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga 525-8577, Japan
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga 525-8577, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Minerals: Methodologies and Case Studies)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: criticality matrix; import reliance; rare earth element; by-product metals; substitute metals criticality matrix; import reliance; rare earth element; by-product metals; substitute metals
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Miyamoto, W.; Kosai, S.; Hashimoto, S. Evaluating Metal Criticality for Low-Carbon Power Generation Technologies in Japan. Minerals 2019, 9, 95.

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