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Five Major Trends Leading the Development of the Copper Industry in 2018
According to the China Quality News,recently, the International Copper Association releasesthe 2018 Copper Industry Outlook, and proposes that the five major trends are expected to lead the development of copper industry.
The first major trend is the demand for copper driven by the electric vehicle market. With a number of new electric vehicles coming to market, electric vehicles are expected to usher in the explosive growth in 2018.
As the electric vehicle technology is highly dependent on copper, and its demand on copper is expected to increase from 185,000 tons in 2017 to 1,740,000 tons in 2027. Copper is used in many key parts of the electric vehicles, such as batteries, motors, charging stations and supporting facilities, etc. In addition, the more advanced the electric vehicle technology, the greater the demand for copper. An internal combustion engine usually uses 23 KG copper, a hybrid electric vehicle usually uses 40 KG copper, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle usually uses 60 KG copper, and a pure battery-powered electric vehicle usually uses as much as 83 KG copper.
The second major trend is the new opportunities brought about by the increasingly severe water crisis. Copper is a durable, reliable and stable metal that is especially suitable for the laying of plumbing installations. Its good impermeability can prevent pollutants such as oil, pesticides and fertilizers from entering the water system. Meanwhile, copper also has anti-corrosion ability and it is also a needed nutrient for the body’s growth and development. In many cities of the United States and Canada, cupreous conduits have been used to instead of the lead pipes. In many cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Milwaukee and Flint, Michigan,copper water supply facilities have been successfully used.
The third major trend is the future trend of electrification. According to the2017 World Energy Outlookpublished by the International Energy Agency recently, the rise of electrification means that electricity will enter the fields of cars, heating and cooling systems that were originally powered by fuel only. The increase of income has enabled millions of households to use a variety of electrical and refrigeration equipment, which will inevitably drive the growth of electricity demand around the world. In addition, in sub-Saharan Africa, its electrification development rate exceeded the population growth rate for the first time in 2014. A large amount of copper is needed for power generation, distribution and transmission. Copper is an excellent conductive material with outstanding performance at high temperatures, which helps the electrical system be integrated into large power grids.
The fourth major trend is the growth momentum of renewable energy. The demand for renewable energy staying at a high level all around the world, and copper is a key component of renewable energy technologies from wind turbines to solar cell panels. For wind turbines, copper is used as materials of grounding wires, transmission cables, transformers, transducers, lightning protectors and their generators and control systems. 4 million pounds (1800 tons) to 15 million pounds (6800 tons) of copper should be used only for awind power station. In addition, copper is also used as a key component of solar power systems to improve the energy efficiency, reliability and performance of photovoltaic cells and components. Its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity plays a vital role in the collection, storage and distribution of solar energy.
The fifth major trend is the rise of green buildings. As the demand for sustainable buildings grows, the benefit of green buildings emerges continuously. According to the 13th Five-Year Plan for Building Energy Efficiency and Green Building Development, 50% of new urban buildings must be certified as green buildings. And the EU is also making continuous efforts in this respect.
The International Copper Association claimed that, the use of copper in buildings construction is almost endless. Its uses involve in roof and wall cladding, flashing, drainage channels and pipes, wiring, piping system, heating systems, ventilation systems and design elements, etc. The copper is solid and durable, and its service life is comparable to the life of the buildings and there is no need to replace it midway. Meanwhile, as a building material, copper has the advantages of corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance, low maintenance cost, light weight and anti-bacteria.