31 Dec '16, 2pm

The dark side of renewable energy | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

The dark side of renewable energy | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

Rare earth metals, hard-to-find materials, with unfamiliar names such as lanthanum, neodymium and europium, are used in wind and solar energy projects, but dwindling supplies could hinder a roll-out of low carbon technologies and slow China’s shift away from coal power. These compounds, which are highly toxic when mined and processed, also take a heavy environmental toll on soil and water, posing a conundrum for policymakers in China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of rare earths. In 2012 the Chinese government named the city of Ganzhou , in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, a “rare earths kingdom”; even though at that time its rare earth reserves were already almost depleted . According to a rare earths white paper issued by the State Council News Office in 2012, the reserves to extraction ratio for rare earth elements in southern China was 15. In other wor...

Full article: http://www.eco-business.com/news/the-dark-side-of-renewab...

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