Question- 1. What are critical minerals? Explain the importance of having a secure supply chain of critical minerals for a nation’s energy security.
Answe: Critical minerals are category of minerals that are central to production of important gadgets and items such as electronic products, solar panels, wind turbines, aircraft alloys, missiles, vehicle batteries etc.
Importance of having a secure supply chain of critical minerals
- Energy security
Critical minerals are important components of solar energy, wind energy and also battery for electric vehicles, which is sure to replace crude oil in future.
- Climate goals
Climate goals and carbon neutrality can be achieved if the world migrates to renewable energy. These goals can only be successfully if critical minerals are available for future.
A country’s independence and sovereign rights can be ensured only if it has self sufficiency. Apart from food, energy security has a strong impact on sovereignty.
- Geopolitical dominance
China has been using its access to critical minerals to assert geopolitical dominance. This is a vital tool to strengthen a country’s position on international stage.
Thus, critical minerals needs to be secured through a alliance of like-minded countries to prevent hegemony by a few and also protect equitable access to technology.
Tags: GS 3 (Energy)