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Oh My, Copper! – Issue 8

Pile of scrap copper

Will Copper supply meet the future demands of its role in renewable energy?

Week commencing: 24/05/2021                  Issue: 8

Copper currently has a significant role in renewable energy and sources suggest that its demand is set to Increase as the world moves away from fossil fuels, towards clean energy technologies. Governments, on a worldwide scale, plan to accelerate the green energy transition with Copper being a crucial stepping stone to meet essential targets. As of 2020, there were 617 cities with 100% renewable energy targets, 1852 cities with climate emergency declarations and 10,500 cities with emission reduction targets, highlighting the crucial role of Copper as more countries plan to protect their environment against pollution. Copper will continue to play a vital role for renewable energy technologies with applications in cabling, wiring, heat exchange and much more.

How is Copper’s role set to increase in renewable energy?

Copper is an essential material which plays a critical role in building both the technologies as well as the infrastructure that enables us to support the power industry. As the adoption of solar and wind technologies continue to grow so will the presence of Copper. Copper content (per megawatt) in the key energy technologies include solar photovoltaics (PV) containing 5 tonnes, onshore wind farms containing 4.3 tonnes and offshore wind farms containing 9.6 tonnes, with cabling accounting for the majority of Copper usage in offshore wind farms. It is estimated that by 2050 renewable energy technology could require more than 3 million tonnes of Copper each year, accounting for 15% of global mine production in 2020. Further, it is expected that the Copper market could be in a 521,000-tonne deficit in 2021. Current and new Copper mines will play a pivotal role in meeting the rising demand for Copper to effectively meet the renewable energy targets worldwide.

Will Copper supply meet the demand of renewable energy?

The transition to renewable energy is still in its early stages and the global Copper market is expected to be in a 521,000-tonne deficit by the end of 2021. Copper supply comes from a few regions, such as Chile, Peru and China, making the supply chain vulnerable to interruptions for example, the mine closures of 2020. Furthermore Chile, the largest producer of Copper, have fallen 30% over the last 15 years; however, new sources of Copper should be valuable in meeting the increasing demand of the renewable energy industry and future applications.

How can ILF help you?

ILF continue to provide customers with the best available supply of Copper, meeting customers’ needs and retaining high inventory levels. ILF are excited for what the future of the Copper industry holds and supporting customers with their new demand.

Have you had an increase of Copper demand? If you have been impacted, we would love to hear from you and find a solution to your challenges.

ILF Milly Edwards

Sales and Marketing Executive: Responsible for creating content for ILF's social media channels, website, print media and promotional work.

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