The world is making a clean energy transition over the next 30 years. This means that by the year 2050, there is a global commitment to achieving zero CO2 emissions. There are two keys to making this transition happen. First, electric cars are going to become the type of vehicle that is driven throughout the world. And secondly, by instituting a switch from nonrenewable to renewable energy resources.
In simple terms, the world is going to need more copper over the coming years as copper is the most effective electrical and thermal conductor. Electric vehicles are expected to consist of approximately 4.5 times more copper than the standard vehicle today. And the Russia/Ukraine war right now is helping to accelerate the transition to electric cars across Europe as these countries look for ways to reduce their demand for Russian gas. Copper is also used in numerous key technologies such as solar, nuclear and wind power. Existing infrastructure will also require more copper in order to become Smart Grids in the future. Current predictions are that the consumption of copper in order to allow for zero CO2 emissions by 2050, will nearly double what they are currently.
Copper is a resource that is mined mainly in Chile, Peru and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Several obstacles face the mining of copper. These include mining licenses becoming more difficult to obtain, labor shortages, protests against mining and oppositions on the local level to the development of new mining operations.
Biggest CO2 Emitter
China is the world’s largest CO2 producer at approximately 29%. China experiences extensive power outages. This has become a critical economic and political issue. Therefore, Chinese government is a huge supporter in the transition from thermal energy to renewable energy for power.
The trend in China is seeing doubling sales of electric vehicles yearly as well as a huge uptick in solar powered installations. China actually now accounts for 50% of the world’s electric vehicle fleet. China seems to be leading the charge in using renewable power sources!
It is estimated by S&P Global that the world is going to be short 1.6 million tons of copper by the year 2035 with a deficit beginning in this decade. According to their projections, by 2026 we are going to start seeing a larger copper demand than supply. This will most probably cause an increase to the price of copper.
So, what does this mean for the everyday scrapper? Copper prices will remain fairly steady because the world is going to need copper in order to continue to thrive. Mines are not as dependable for large supplies of copper as they once were, so it needs to be recycled. That is where YOU come in. To keep the unused copper flowing through the system in order to fulfill our ever-evolving world, we need people to turn in copper to the salvage yards near them so that the unused becomes used once again.