There is a long running historical debate over the access to natural resources and the progress of mankind. This debate dates back to the work of Malthus at the end of the 18th century, and includes resources as diverse as agricultural land and fossil fuels.

Recently attention has been drawn to the issue of the availability of certain materials critical to advanced low-carbon technologies. Could access to certain materials constrain the progress of a transition to a low carbon economy?

A series of UKERC working papers and reports investigate these issues to address the question:

“What is the evidence that the transition to a low-carbon economy may be influenced by access to critical materials?”


Synthesis Report

Materials availability for low-carbon technologies: An assessment of the evidence (September 2014)

Materials Availability Handbook

An online guide highlighting the availability of materials that are critical components in low-carbon energy technologies.

Working Papers

Journal Articles

Candelise, C., Speirs, J., and Gross, R. (2011) ‘Materials availability for thin film (TF) PV technologies development: a real concern?’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 15, Issue 9, pp 4972-4981.