Offshore wind requires 63,000 lbs of copper per turbine

Renewables – and in particular offshore wind – are expected to lead to a surge in demand for copper that will push prices even higher, as the amount of copper required per wind turbine is staggering, to 63,000 pounds.

A week ago, the base metal hit an all-time high due to supply chain disruptions. By the end of the week, however, it had slowed down China’s efforts to curb the recovery in the commodities market.

Now the copper climbing again, and that’s likely to be a consistent trend.

The reason is renewables – and more specifically wind power – researcher Mirela Petkova wrote for Energy Monitor in a recent item. Offshore wind turbines require 8 tonnes of copper for every megawatt of generating capacity, noted Petkova, adding, citing data from the International Energy Agency, that an average 3.6 MW turbine, which can power more of 3300 average European households, will contain nearly 29 tonnes

There is also a shortage of new supplies even as demand increases. According to Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg, the tightening of supply is likely to continue until copper prices rise up to 50 percent from current levels.

By Irina Slav for Oil Octobers

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