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Copper at the crossroads : Assessment of the interactions between low-carbon energy transition and supply limitations

Abstract : This article aims to assess the impact of copper availability on the energy transition and to determine whether copper could become critical due to the high copper content of low-carbon technologies compared to conventional technologies. In assessing copper availability through to 2050, we rely on our linear programming world energy-transport model, TIAM-IFPEN. We examine two climate scenarios (2 °C and 4 °C) with two mobility shape, implemented with a recycling chain. The penetration of low-carbon technologies in the transport and energy sectors (electric vehicles and low-carbon power generation technologies) is likely to significantly increase copper demand by 2050. To investigate how tension over copper resources can be reduced in the energy transition context, we consider two public policy drivers: sustainable mobility and recycling practices. Results show that in the most stringent scenario, the cumulative primary copper demand between 2010 and 2050 is found to be 89.4% of the copper resources known in 2010. They also pinpoint the importance of China and Chile in the future evolution of the copper market.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 22, 2021 - 12:04:16 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 1:48:28 PM

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Gondia Sokhna Seck, Emmanuel Hache, Clement Bonnet, Marine Simoën, Samuel Carcanague. Copper at the crossroads : Assessment of the interactions between low-carbon energy transition and supply limitations. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Elsevier, 2020, 163, pp.105072. ⟨10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105072⟩. ⟨hal-03118509⟩

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