Aluminum is critical to our economic and national security through its defense, aerospace, electricity, and transportation uses. Demand will continue to grow as the economy transitions to a more sustainable energy future with the electrification of automobiles and new green technologies.
A new report from SAFE’s Center for Strategic Industrial Materials (C-SIM), The U.S. Aluminum Industry’s Energy Problem and Energy Solution, analyzes the dichotomy between rising demand for aluminum and its energy-saving benefits versus the declining production in the U.S. due to its energy intensity in the production phase. This is the first report in a series of policy papers regarding the various issues impacting domestic primary aluminum production.
- Existing and new drivers for aluminum are growing rapidly, which will widen the gap between demand and secure supply.
- As vital as recycling is, the volume of secondary output is not sufficient to meet rising demand; more U.S. production of primary aluminum is needed.
- Narrowed focus on the smelting process of the supply chain will help overcome the U.S. demand-secure production gap.
- Without action on domestic primary, the U.S. is at risk of a much larger reliance on the UAE, Russia, and China for critical infrastructures, military needs, and clean technologies.
- Energy challenges underpin this threat and undermine the economic viability of the primary aluminum industry in the U.S. and abroad.
- Decarbonizing innovations in primary aluminum technologies can be a lifeline to industry as green aluminum becomes increasingly globally competitive.
- By leveraging new and existing policies, the United States has the power to avoid these damaging results.