Abstract for: Simulating the Neodymium Supply Chain Using Explicit Dynamic Supply and Demand
America’s clean energy technologies rely on materials with highly specialized properties that allow them to compete in a dynamic energy economy. These materials are often referred to as ‘critical materials’ and are vital to enabling modern innovations but are surrounded by uncertain supply and demand, as indicated by dramatic changes in the price of materials. In order to meet growing energy demands with projected clean energy technologies an in-depth understanding of supply and demand for critical materials is required. In 2011, DOE released a report identifying five high risk materials necessary for clean energy technology advancement in the United States. Neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium, and yttrium, each with significant supply chain vulnerabilities. To mitigate the risks associated with these vulnerabilities, three strategies are generally accepted: 1) increase supply by recycling material, 2) decrease demand by developing substitute materials or technologies, or 3) increase extraction efficiency and productivity. In this paper, we explore the potential of all three strategies in meeting long term clean energy technology projections goals. Additionally, we explore an alternative method to investigating market dynamics within system dynamics that seeks to improve cooperation between system dynamicists and orthodox economists.