Clean energy faces its own supply chain crisis – by Justine Calma (The Verge – November 17, 2021)

The future of energy in America will depend on whether the US can break free from its dependence on other countries that dominate clean energy supply chains. To reach the Biden administration’s energy and environmental goals, the US will have to dramatically scale up its mining and manufacturing, lawmakers argued today during a joint hearing of the House Energy Subcommittee and the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee. They also raised serious concerns about the US’s ability to do so.

“The sustainable economy of the future will definitely need to be built and manufactured. The question that remains to be seen is whether it will be manufactured by Americans,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) in his opening statement.

Joe Biden has pledged to get the US on a path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a key target that climate scientists have identified as necessary to stave off catastrophic effects of climate change. On the way there, Biden envisions a 100 percent “clean” power sector by 2035. He also wants half of all new cars sold in 2030 to be electric or hybrid vehicles.

Those ambitions, however, will depend on the US’s ability to get enough solar panels, wind turbines, lithium-ion batteries, and other critical clean energy technologies and raw materials.

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