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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography
  • Energy Systems


  • Critical material, Energy transition, Geopolitics, Renewable energy, Resource curse
Original languageEnglish
Article number100394
JournalEnergy Strategy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch