Wind and Solar Technologies Increase Copper Demand

In a Reuters' article, Navigant Research discusses copper’s appeal over alternatives

The growing demand for high-tech energy devices is creating a new need for copper. This will offset the rise of aluminum, a cheaper, but less-effective alternative for some wind and solar technologies. 

In an article for Reuters, Benjamin Freas, associate director at Navigant Research explains, “There’s lots of skepticism around the use of aluminum in solar and wind, providing a boost for copper.” 

While cheaper and lighter weight than copper, aluminum is also more corrosive, brittle, and 60% as conductive. This renders aluminum ineffective in lithium batteries and potentially combustible in wind turbines. Alternatively, copper is hyper-effective in both these technologies.  

As demand for solar panels and wind turbines rise, so will the use of copper. According to the Internal Energy Administration, more than 55% of copper consumption will come from energy transmission and distribution through 2040. 

Read the Reuters Article

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