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European wind farms fuel copper demand

Underscoring once more that technological progress continues to change the utility of metals and minerals, and that today’s mainstay metals may be tomorrow’s specialty metals, European wind farms are driving up copper demand.
According to a Reuters story, research consultant Wood Mackenzie expects “copper use in wind turbines to rise 15 percent between 2013 and 2015, against an estimated 12 percent rise in wind capacity installation in Western Europe over the same period.”

Here is some more background information from the story:

· Wind turbines are said to use 3.6 tonnes of copper per megawatt. Wood Mackenzie expects 22,000 tonnes of copper to be consumed in Western European wind farms in 2012.

· Europe’s emphasis on green energy generation through mandatory targets (EU countries are slated to generate 20 percent of their energy through renewable sources) and government subsidies is helping counter other suppressing factors such as the European economic crisis weighing down copper demand.

Meanwhile, copper’s uses don’t end here. Aside from being a mainstay metal essential for the construction, and transportation industries, and a critical component of “green” technology applications, copper also serves as a “gateway metal” for other tech metals – a utility American Resources will explore in a new forthcoming report.