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22 Million tonnes of copper at the core of a climate-neutral European 2050 economy

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This presentation provides a high-level scenario for the EU energy transition and estimates how much copper will be required. It then compares these requirements to available reserves, resources and the urban mine.

Published in: Environment
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22 Million tonnes of copper at the core of a climate-neutral European 2050 economy

  1. 1. 22 megatonnes of copper at the core of a climate-neutral European 2050 economy June 2019
  2. 2. 2 Energy Transition: a major shift from a fuel- based economy to a carbon-neutral one We already benefit from a broad range of cost-effective solutions Essential for a deep decarbonisation of the economy Renewable energy systems Energy-efficient buildings & equipment Transport electrification Circular economy
  3. 3. 3 Thanks to its excellent conductivity and multiple properties, copper plays a central role Conductivity Connectivity StrengthDuctilityCorrosion resistance AlloyabilityElectrochemistry • Generator • Transformer • Power cable • Modules • Power cable • Inverter • Automation and control • Demand flexibility • Smart devices • Heat pumps • Batteries • Cabling • Charging infrastructure • Electro-processing • Motor systems • Underground cable • Transformers • Batteries • Ocean grids
  4. 4. 4 22 megatonnes of copper are estimated to be added to the EU economy until 2050… Estimate based on the EU 2050 “High-RES” scenario, of the EU 2050 energy roadmap, plus additional assumptions about the uptake of emerging technologies. https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/2012_energy_roadmap_2050_en_0.pdf Power generation Transmission & distribution grids Smart homes & buildings Electric transportation Industry electrification Space heating 5 10 15 20 25 Mtonnes
  5. 5. 5 … which represents an average market growth of 18% 82 Mtonnes • Current market 4 Mtonnes/year • 0.7 Mtonne average annual addition  18% average growth • Energy Transition is already happening: 2 Mtonnes have been added, i.e. 0.3 Mtonne/year The management of a 104 Mtonne copper stock (worth € 587 billion) will require truly circular solutions The EU copper stock Today 2050 104 Mtonnes +22 Mtonnes
  6. 6. 6 There are sufficient mining and recycling copper reserves & resources worldwide to cope with growth Total resources 5000 Mtonnes (250 years) Reserves 830 Mtonnes (40 years) Annual production 21 Mtonnes Deep sea deposits excluded Primary route: mining (~70% of demand) Secondary route: recycling (~30% of demand) 400 Mtonnes available in the “urban mine” (20 years) Most of copper alloying elements can be recovered Identified resources 2100 Mtonnes (100 years) Copper can be recycled repeatedly without downgrading Meeting future copper demand: https://sustainablecopper.org/meeting-future-copper-demand/ The World Copper Factbook 2018: https://www.icsg.org/index.php/component/jdownloads/finish/170/2876 Dynamic Analysis of Global Copper Flows. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es400069b US Geological Survey (USGS), 2019: https://prd-wret.s3-us-west- 2.amazonaws.com/assets/palladium/production/s3fs-public/atoms/files/mcs-2019-coppe.pdf Landfills 150 Mtonnes available in landfills (7 years) Copper demand estimated to increase up to 50% over the next decades https://www.mckinsey.com/business- functions/sustainability/our-insights/the-future-is-now- how-to-win-the-resource-revolution
  7. 7. 7 Power generation
  8. 8. 8 Renewables use twelve times more copper than conventional generation Wind e-generator Power cables DC cables Earthing systemsPV busbars • 4 times more copper per MW installed (average) • 3 times more MW installed per MWh produced (due to weather dependency of renewables) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Wind offshore Photovoltaics Solar thermal Hydro Wind onshore Conventional Ton Cu / MW Copper use in clean generation technologies
  9. 9. 9 Growth prospects driven by decarbonisation and electrification: 6.2 Mtonnes in renewables 35% Today 2050 More power generation due to electrification of other sectors (heating and transport) 86% 53% Higher renewables share 86% high-RES scenario 53% conservative scenario Estimate based on the EU 2050 “High-RES” scenario, of the EU 2050 energy roadmap, plus additional assumptions about the uptake of emerging technologies. https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/2012_energy_roadmap_2050_en_0.pdf
  10. 10. 10 Grids
  11. 11. 11 At transmission level, copper demand is largely driven by submarine grids: 1.3 Mtonnes Underground cable Submarine cable Transformers Grid storage batteries • The anticipated investment in the upgrade of the transmission grid until 2050 is € 420 billion. • Submarine grids are a key component. https://tyndp.entsoe.eu/tyndp2018/projects/ EU 2050 energy roadmap https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/2012_energy_roadmap_2050_en_0.pdf
  12. 12. 12 At distribution level 3.7 Mtonnes of copper will be required mostly for grid reinforcement EU 2050 energy roadmap https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/2012_energy_roadmap_2050_en_0.pdf • The role of copper will depend on the generation model: centralised vs decentralised • Other interlinked factors will have an effect, such as demand response and local storage (technologies which also require copper) • More peak load per customer is expected, which will drive grid reinforcements Demand response Distributed generation Local storage
  13. 13. 13 Buildings
  14. 14. 14 Automation and control systems would add 0.5 Mtonne of copper to save 22% of energy Demand responseIndoor air qualityThermal comfort Electrical storage • Copper  extra cabling and electrical power actuators • Buildings  from mere passive energy consumers to intelligent and active players in the energy transition • Many of the smart services defined in the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) catalogue rely on copper
  15. 15. 15 Homes: 2.2 Mtonnes of copper for the gradual renovation of 220 million households Heat pumpPhotovoltaic installation Lighting and options Home automation & Smart devices • An adequate electrical installation is a prerequisite for the cost-effective implementation of smart technologies at a later stage. • Advanced home automation system requires an additional 10 kg of copper. This includes technologies such as roll-down shutters, intercom, telephony, computer network, fans, and music distribution. • On top of that, other copper-intensive technologies might be used too, such as photovoltaic panels and heat pumps.
  16. 16. 16 Transport
  17. 17. 17 New electromobility components need copper to operate efficiently, driving demand up Low voltage wiring Battery (copper foil, connectors) High voltage wiring Electric motor (stator windings and, in some cases, rotor) 22 kg At least doubling the copper content per vehicle 44 kg
  18. 18. 18 Despite multiple uncertainties, e-mobility is the biggest new market: 6.4 Mtonnes estimated Cars 5.4 Mtonnes Goods transport 0.9 Mtonne Passenger transport 0.1 Mtonne Car sharing? Autonomous driving? Market share of e-cars? Behavioural changes? Technology options? Many unpredictable trends that can evolve at a fast pace. Upper range 10 Mtonnes 2.6 million trucks are sold annually. Upper range 1.8 Mtonnes Less transport, more local economy? Alternative technologies? FCV, other Expected 0.8 million buses by 2050. Upper range 0.4 Mtonne Individual vs collective transport? Competition from autonomous driving? Alternative technologies? FCV, other
  19. 19. 19 Industry
  20. 20. 20 Electroheating is rising alongside green combustion: 0.5 Mton estimated • Objective: displace 150 Mtoe/year of fossil heat  will require 750,000 industrial furnaces • Assumption: 1/3 of market share (hydrogen and bioenergy taking the rest) • Advantages of electric heating: higher efficiency and use of green electricity Multiple technologies: induction, microwave, infrarred, resistance, electron beam…
  21. 21. 21 Efficiency and electrification will drive the demand of copper in motors up to 0.5 Mtonne 15 million Motorisation Today 2050 Number of units Increasing efficiency • Current average content 5.3 kg/unit • Number of motors and their efficiency both will increase (upper impact 1.5 Mtonnes), however alternative technologies might reduce the content of copper per unit
  22. 22. 22 Space heating
  23. 23. 23 Space heating: the low hanging fruit for decarbonisation represents 0.8 Mtonne 143 million fossil fuel boilers & direct electric heating systems TODAY 2050 Heat pumps, biomass boiler, pellet stove, solar thermal, cogeneration, district heating. +11 kg per appliance as an average More energy efficient buildings Alternative thermal and electric conductor materials Upper range 1.6 Mtonnes, corrected to 0.8 due to trends and materials
  24. 24. 24 22 megatonnes of copper* required to achieve the European Energy Transition (educated estimate) Power generation and transportation will likely be the biggest contributors No risk to run out of copper: there are sufficient mining and recycling reserves & resources worldwide to cope with growth *Conservative scenario but still to be taken cautiously, as multiple uncertainties exist on the decarbonisation pathways and technology uptake
  25. 25. diedert.debusscher@copperalliance.eu hans.dekeulenaer@copperalliance.eu fernando.nuno@copperalliance.es Thank you Final Conference of the EU-MERCI project25

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