Copper world

The energy-efficient metal

As the world’s population grows, energy consumption is set to increase by an estimated 60% by 2030. Not only will we need to produce more energy but also ensure that this energy is transmitted efficiently.

This is where copper can bring enormous benefits. It is the best non-precious conductor of heat and electricity and 65% more efficient than aluminium.

Research shows that adding one tonne of copper to electrical systems can save 100 to 7,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions or between 500 to 50,000 MWh of primary energy over the system's lifetime. The potential for the reduction in green-house gas emissions due to an increased use of copper is estimated to be the same as taking more than half of the world’s current one billion cars off the roads.

The unique efficiency of copper also enables a greater quantity of energy to be harnessed from renewable energy sources. The United Nations declared 2014 – 2024 as “The Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”. This global initiative aims to achieve universal access to energy by doubling the rate of renewable energy and doubling the rate of energy efficiency.

Two of the three strategic goals of the UN SEforAll initiative are related to energy access and renewable energy. Access to safe, reliable energy is critical to many facets of human development, including:
  • Alleviation of poverty
  • Greater opportunities for education
  • Gender equality issues
  • Improved quality of life
  • Public health
  • And more
Renewable energy offers many benefits:
  • Reduce dependence on limited fossil fuel resources
  • No net CO2 release into the atmosphere
  • Resource-deficient nations can reduce their dependence on imported energy
  • Mini- and micro-grid technologies based on renewable energy systems bring clean, safe and reliable energy access to remote locations