The Energy Transition Could Be Derailed By A Looming Copper Shortage – by Haley Zaremba (Oil Price – September 07, 2022)

“Think of copper as a common carrier, so to speak, of decarbonization. It is literally the wiring that connects the present to the future,” writes Nathaniel Bullard, BloombergNEF’s Chief Content Officer.

While many of us imagine renewable energies to be just that – infinitely renewable, with no use of finite resources – the reality is that solar planes, wind turbines, energy transmission infrastructure, batteries for energy storage, and motors for your electric cars and electric bicycles all rely on metals that are not infinitely sourceable.

Much lip service has been paid to the extraction and exploitation of lithium to power electric vehicle batteries, but one could argue that copper is even more central to – and therefore potentially threatened by – a large-scale green energy transition.

The reverse is also true – a looming copper shortage threatens to completely derail the clean energy transition, and by extension, climate pledges across the world. According to a recent report from S&P Platts, if copper shortfalls follow projected trends, climate goals will be “short-circuited and remain out of reach.”

For the rest of this article: