Copper at the Core of Driving Worldwide Sustainable Energy Growth

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Copper has been pushing the boundaries of innovation since the dawn of civilization. Today, copper is more relevant than ever as we move toward a low-carbon economy. Copper plays a crucial role in our homes, workplaces, transportation, infrastructure and industries.

Copper and Clean Energy for All

Our sustainable energy future depends on the twin pillars of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Energy efficiency continues to deliver as the “first fuel”: the more efficiently energy services are delivered, the more effective and significant contribution renewable energy has in primary energy production.

Copper as a facilitator of a low-carbon economy

The energy systems of the future require copper. It has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of any engineering metal. It reduces electrical energy and heat transfer losses and improves energy efficiency. As a result, it can reduce lifetime operating costs. Products containing copper tend to operate more efficiently and reliably.

The copper industry has long been at the forefront of implementing low-carbon energy solutions.

Climate Action: Power systems utilizing copper generate, transmit and use energy with high efficiency and reliability, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and optimizing life-cycle costs. Copper plays a key role in at least 10 green technologies, which together can each reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Energy Efficiency: As copper is the most efficient conductor available, having more copper in electrical equipment helps it run cooler, saving energy and money. Typical cost-effective reductions in energy use are in the range of 20 – 30 percent.

Renewable Energy: Copper plays an important role in all renewable solutions, such as solar, wind, tidal, hydro, biomass, and geothermal.

Driving an ambitious sustainability agenda—for ourselves and others

The copper industry is heavily invested in facilitating the move toward a more sustainable future, not just through enabling others, but through reducing our own energy footprint. Thanks to innovative process technologies and waste-heat recovery, in Europe alone the copper industry has reduced its per-unit energy consumption by 60 percent compared to 1990 levels. We are continually doing research and testing new concepts to deliver a steady stream of innovations that can dramatically transform how things are made and how they work.

Versatility and recyclability

Copper is one of the planet’s most versatile resources and an important facilitator for low-carbon energy solutions. Add to this copper’s ability to be recycled, again and again, without loss in performance, and it becomes obvious why copper is the material of choice for building our sustainable world of tomorrow.

20 July 2017

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