Net zero targets set by governments are ambitious and based on the reliability and secure supply of technologies that support the transition. Net zero technologies consist of energy and transport technology, including: wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, smart grids, storage facilities, and the supporting infrastructure that enables these technologies to exist. For example, semiconductors are a seminal piece of technology in the development of electric vehicles. The vulnerability of these technologies to cyber security, environmental, social and economic risks is explored through this research.
These emerging technologies, vital to the net zero transition, are further dependent on the critical mineral supply to meet demand. For instance, lithium-ion batteries critical to the storage of energy for many uses are dependent on intensive lithium and cobalt mining, which have major environmental risks. Our programme on securing net zero technologies is concerned with the wide range of risks that arise from the development, manufacturing and supply of technologies critical to the transition to a zero-carbon or carbon neutral economy.