About the Event: With China's rapid rise and the reemergence of Russia as a major power, the global stage is set for multipolar competition for critical metals that support a variety of advanced technologies and provide the foundation for energy transitions, communication, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. While the sources of rare earth elements (REEs) are slowly expanding, the REEs are finding accelerated demand in more applications, such as in electric vehicle batteries and permanent magnet motors. Consequently, many national initiatives are designed to respond to growing demand by discovering new ore deposits, finding substitute elements for specific applications, developing separation and extraction technologies, or recycling end-of-life (EOL) products. Despite these national initiatives, the current global REE supply chain is still highly imbalanced and tightly controlled by just a few countries. Such an imbalance of the critical metals supply chain poses a significant challenge to the energy transition and national security of many countries worldwide. With an in-depth analysis, this research offers insights into the current progress in developing an alternative REE supply chain and the possibilities of future strategic, technological, and economic international engagements.
About the Speaker: Dr. Gorakh Pawar is a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). Dr. Pawar holds a doctorate in Mining Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Pawar is researching the global imbalanced critical material supply chain that poses a significant challenge to the energy transition and national security of many countries worldwide. Dr. Pawar is also a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy and a recipient of the Early Career Exceptional Achievement Award of Idaho National Laboratory. Dr. Pawar has spearheaded many projects resolving the fundamental scientific bottlenecks in advancing clean energy technologies.