Copper’s role in renewable energy
By E Swanepoel, Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA)
Electricity+Control, September 2013 (pages 42 – 44)
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Copper plays an important role in renewable energy systems. Since it is the highest rated electrical conductor among the engineering metals, power systems that utilise copper generate and transmit energy with maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impacts. By using copper, less electricity needs to be generated to satisfy a given power demand.
Renewable electricity production, from sources such as wind power and solar power, is sometimes criticised for being variable or intermittent. However, the International Energy Agency has stated that deployment of renewable technologies usually increases the diversity of electricity sources and, through local generation, contributes to the flexibility of the system and its resistance to central shocks.
Because power systems that utilise copper generate and transmit energy with maximum efficiency, by using copper, less electricity needs to be generated to satisfy a given power demand.
- Copper is still the best conductor of all the engineering metals.
- Alternative energy sources must be used efficiently.
- Numerous renewable energy sources are being tapped in South Africa.