Rare earths are a group of 17 metallic elements (listed below) with very unique properties that are widely used in energy and lighting technologies. Their oxides are used in products such as hard drives, fuel cells, wind turbines, polishing powders and catalytic converters. In lighting, rare earth oxides are used for the creation of white light from the UV radiation generated within fluorescent lamps.
Rare earths are undergoing extreme cost increases due to unprecedented market forces. In less than 12 months, costs of some rare earth oxide materials used in lighting products have experienced increases ranging from 500 percent to more than 2,000 percent, and they continue to climb.
A variety of factors continue to inflate the cost of these materials as the realization of their intrinsic value increases. Demand for rare earths continues to grow in line with growth in green technologies. The rate of cost increase for these raw materials vital to fluorescent, and some incandescent and halogen products, is astronomical.
Curious about what is being done to try to curb rare earth inflation and meet supply needs? Or what GE is doing to combat the rare earth supply-chain crisis? Download our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to these and other questions you may have about rare earths.