In another story in this section, we commented about the copper needs for the EU energy transition, proposing 22 million tonnes of copper cumulatively for the period of 2020-2050 to complete the European energy transition. This figure covers 11 technologies such as renewable electricity generation, electricity grids, smart buildings and a variety of end-use technologies. For a global energy transition, about ten times this amount would be required, i.e. ~ 220 million tonnes.
Manberger provides another reference for the same question, estimating a need of 130 - 168 million tonnes, depending on the recycling scenario. This paper includes 8 technologies: 2 renewable power generation technologies (wind and PV), renewable heating & cooling, electric vehicles, electric bikes and busses. Compared to the first scenario, Manberger doesn't include grids, smart buildings or industry decarbonisation.
In the near future, we can expect to add other scenarios for copper/metal demand for the EU/global energy transition on this page.
Månberger, André, and Björn Stenqvist. 2018. “Global Metal Flows in the Renewable Energy Transition: Exploring the Effects of Substitutes, Technological Mix and Development.” Energy Policy 119 (August): 226–41.
Last update: October 20, 2021