There has been a rapid growth in demand for raw materials in recent years. The supply of some of these materials into the market has been constrained by the policies of major producers. This has led to much concern worldwide, especially in the EU, where many industries have come to rely on materials that have an associated supply risk.
The EU is tackling this problem through its Raw Materials Initiative and the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials. The JRC/IET has also addressed this issue in two studies carried out in 2011 and 2013 that analysed materials shortages initially in six SET-Plan technologies, namely: wind, solar, bioenergy, CCS, nuclear fission and the electricity grid. The second study extended this to 17 technologies, including hydropower, electric vehicles and lighting. It was considered necessary that to support these activities, a dedicated Materials Information System (MIS) should be developed that provides the user with all the necessary background information on materials, e.g. the material’s supply chain, which materials and how much material is used in each technology, a description of the technology and the materials themselves, as well as a comprehensive library of relevant references and literature. The SETIS website is the perfect platform to house MIS.
The initial goal of the MIS website is to provide information about the materials that are used in the six SET-Plan technologies. More specifically, MIS offers a user-friendly, attractive visualisation of the materials that comprise each one of the SET-Plan technologies. Each material that is a constituent of a technology will be described from cradle-to-grave, for example the supply chain, the producer countries, the manufacturers, the reserves and forecasts about their lifetime and current practices on waste management, i.e. re-use, recycling, substitution, etc.
The tool is meant to serve the purpose of informing the “SETIS community” on the facts and figures on materials used in SET-Plan technologies. The website will be continually improved and updated with the latest data and background information on each technology. Eventually, all 17 technologies, as developed in the JRC report on "Critical Metals in the Path towards the Decarbonisation of the EU Energy Sector", will be included in MIS.
The MIS website can be found at: http://setis.ec.europa.eu/mis.
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