Universiteit Leiden

nl en


The technology-resources-sustanability nexus: Rare Earth metals and socioeconomic scenarios

Tuesday 26 November 2019
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Tomer Fishman

“Green technologies” are often posed as a greenhouse gas emission mitigation option, yet from a global perspective, the constrained supplies of rare-earth metals required for many such applications puts into question the viability of scaling up these strategies based on current technologies. This talk will address two such cases in the United States: offshore wind power and hybrid and electric vehicles. We employ what-if scenarios of growth in future demand for electricity and mobility as inputs into dynamic material flow and stock models. The results of these models enable us to analyze the shifting trends of demand for various materials, their accumulation as in-use stocks, and the potential availability of end-of-life material as secondary supply to reduce primary material demands and enhance circularity. These analyses place front and center the challenges involved with “closing the cycle” in the realm of material supply and demands in dynamically evolving systems of service provision under different technological shifts and socioeconomic patterns.

About the speaker

Tomer Fishman has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies and M.A. in Environmental Engineering from Nagoya University, Japan, and a B.A. in Economics from the Hebrew University, Israel. He was a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University’s Center for Industrial Ecology 2016-2018.

His research is focused towards the materials that accumulate in our buildings, vehicles, infrastructure, consumer products, and green technologies, and how they form the interlinkages of society, economy, and the environment.

His current research uses remote sensing and geospatial analysis to globally map the amounts and locations of in-use resources; models scenarios and forecasts of the accumulation of critical materials and construction materials in global economies; and explores resource efficiency strategies for the reduction of emissions related to material extraction, manufacturing, and use.

Get inspired and register for this lecture.

This website uses cookies.  More information.