Model description 

1. Purpose of the model: This is a system dynamics model for assessing dynamic rare earth production demand and U.S. wind energy demand.

Global initiatives are focused on deploying clean energy technologies, such as wind energy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. onshore and offshore wind targets have been particularly aggressive. Some wind energy technologies, such as direct-drive wind turbines, rely on a volatile rare earth element (REE) supply chain concentrated in China. Global efforts focused on developing new sources of REEs, with limited success. This rare earth supply issue could inhibit direct-drive adoption, despite its energy efficiency benefits. However, it is unclear if new U.S. REE supply could support onshore and offshore direct-drive wind energy growth and help meet U.S. wind energy targets. This model estimates U.S. and Chinese REE availability that could support U.S. direct-drive and other REE demand. 

2. Methodology: Detailed description of the model can be found in our published article.  

Although the paper detailed the dynamic wind energy demand in section 3.2.2, this portion of the paper was coded in Mathematica. Only the output of the Mathematica model was used in this system dynamics model to calculate U.S. onshore direct-drive capacity demand based on total neodymium availability. 

Idaho National Laboratory would like to thank Purdue University (Dr. Aditya Vedantam and Dr. Ananth Iyer) and Colorado School of Mines (Dr. Maxwell Brown and Dr. Rod Eggert) for their valuable input to the model. 

3. Prerequisites: Users are required to download Powersim ​to run the model.

4. License type: This model has been licensed under Apache License 2.0. To learn more about the terms and conditions for use, reproduction, and distribution, please read the LICENSE.txt file available in the Model files section. 

5. Funding source: This work is supported by the Critical Materials Institute, an Energy Innovation Hub funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office under Grant AL-12-350-001.  

Notice: This computer software was prepared by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, hereinafter the Contractor, under Contract No. AC07-05ID14517 with the United States (U. S.) Department of Energy (DOE).  The Government is granted for itself and others acting on its behalf a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable worldwide license in this data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of the Government. There is a provision for the possible extension of the term of this license.  Subsequent to that period or any extension granted, the Government is granted for itself and others acting on its behalf a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable worldwide license in this data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, perform publicly and display publicly, and to permit others to do so.  The specific term of the license can be identified by inquiry made to Contractor or DOE.  Neither the United States nor the United States Department of Energy, nor contractor makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any liability or responsibility for the use, accuracy, completeness, or usefulness or any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. 


Author contact information 

Ruby Nguyen 


Idaho National Laboratory

1955 Fremont Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83415  


Model files  

Link to GitHub  


Key Words

Rare earth elements, wind energy target, direct-drive wind turbines, supply chain, system dynamics ​