According to research conducted by Navigant, global copper demand is increasing, with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar key contributors to this trend, particularly in Asia. The study, commissioned by the International Copper Association (ICA), predicts increases in solar and wind energy will raise copper demand by 813 thousand tonnes annually by 2027, a 56% increase on 2018 levels.
The solar industry in Asia Pacific is expected to use over 195 thousand tonnes of copper in 2018, growing to around 378 thousand tonnes by 2027. China is the world’s largest copper consumer in wind energy, accounting for 42.5% of global demand in 2018. Combined, the wind and solar energy investment in Asia is projected to account for 3.8 million tonnes of copper demand between 2023 and 2027.
The work suggests this increase will be brought about by higher demand for renewable energy sources, driven by Chinese policy developments in both solar and wind energy. In the Asia Pacific region alone, copper usage in solar energy will grow to 378 thousand tonnes annually by 2027, a 95% increase compared with 2018.