Copper and the Clean Energy Transition

European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is an annual highlight for everyone working on sustainable energy policy issues, both in Brussels and across member states. This year’s theme is ‘Lead the Clean Energy Transition.’

EU institutional negotiations on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package are in full swing and due to be concluded by the end of 2018. As such, this year’s EUSEW comes at a time when crucial details of the package are on the table, influencing the overall ambition and means of execution. However, the direction is clear: towards a greener, more sustainable world.

Once the package is adopted, copper will be key to the innovative solutions needed to implement the vision across the EU. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Renewables: Copper plays an important role in renewable energy solutions—such as solar, wind, tidal, hydro, biomass and geothermal—by improving their overall performance.
  2. Energy efficiency: Copper is the best nonprecious conductor of heat and electricity. Products containing copper tend to operate more efficiently, with typical cost-effective reductions in energy use in the range of 20–30%.
  3. Transportation: Beyond the energy sector, copper is also a key component in new, low-carbon modes of transportation, such as electric vehicles (EVs), playing an important role in their batteries and control systems as well as charging infrastructure.
  4. Smart grids: Copper helps tie it all together: a low-carbon future is not possible without smart and connected electrical and thermal grids. Copper is a key metal to making grids smaller, smarter, more flexible and more energy efficient.
  5. Energy footprint: Compared to 1990 levels, the European copper industry has managed to reduce its per-unit energy consumption by 60% thanks to innovative process technologies and waste-heat recovery. The industry continues its efforts to decrease this number.

Interested in more information on how copper contributes to improving sustainability? Visit