Visualizing Copper Demand for Renewables
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Visualizing Copper Demand for Renewables

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The following content is sponsored by Teck.

 

copper demand infographic

Visualizing Copper Demand in a Renewables Powered Future

Renewable energy is considered one of the most effective tools to reduce global carbon emissions and fight climate change. However, building technologies like solar and wind power plants or electric vehicles (EVs) can be mineral-intensive.

Copper is considered an essential metal for renewables. The metal is highly conductive, can easily be shaped into pipes, wires, or sheets, and can remove heat far more rapidly than other metals. In fact, copper itself is a sustainable material. The metal is 100% recyclable and can be used repeatedly without any loss of performance.

The above infographic from Teck highlights how global copper demand in both the clean power and the clean transport sectors is expected to double in the next decades.

The Wind and Solar Boom

Copper has long been a common component in most electrical wiring, power generation, transmission, distribution, and circuitry because of its high conductivity and durability.

New energy technologies, however, require even more copper. Photovoltaics (PV) solar power systems contain approximately 5 tonnes (t) per megawatt (MW) of copper, while grid energy storage installations rely on 2.7 to 3.6t per MW.

Year Power Grids (t)EV Batteries (t)Wind (t)Solar (t)EV Charging (t)                   
20201.7M210K165K83K4.2K
20211.7M303K143K85K6.1K
20221.8M454K207K79K8.7K
20231.8M580K189K82K11.3K
20241.9M702K256K83K13.9K
20251.9M798K300K87K16.6K
20261.9M907K254K80K21.1K
20271.9M1.0M287K87K26.4K
20281.9M1.3M290K95K32.1K
20292.0M1.5M329K100K39.2K
20302.0M1.8M352K104K47.1K

Solar isn’t the only renewable energy source that relies on copper, as a wind farm can contain between 4 million and 15 million pounds of copper.

Copper Drives EVs

The clean transport sector also consumes lots of copper. In fact, the metal is used in every major EV component, from the motor to the inverter and the electrical wiring.

While an average gasoline-powered car uses about 20 kg of copper, mainly as wiring, a fully electric car has roughly 80 kg of copper. Therefore, copper demand for EV batteries alone is expected to jump from 210K tonnes in 2020 to 1.8M tonnes in 2030.

But demand for the metal won’t just come from the cars themselves. Copper used for EV charging stations is also expected to rise more than 1,000% by 2030, compared to 2020.

Meeting the Copper Demand

As the world moves towards alternative energy sources, copper will remain in high demand.

Even though the metal is 100% recyclable, recycling alone will not be enough to meet demand and ensure a stable supply of copper. Continued mining for new copper will be needed.

Teck is one of Canada’s leading mining companies committed to responsibly producing copper needed for a low-carbon future.

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A Breakdown of Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

Do you know where your money goes? From travel to gas, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category.

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Credit Card Spending

Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

If you were fortunate enough to keep your job during the pandemic, you probably noticed a financial benefit: you spent less. Amid restrictions, credit card spending on fun activities—like going out for dinner—became less frequent.

Looking ahead, the majority of Americans plan to continue at least one budget change post-pandemic, including eating out less (49%), buying fewer clothes and shoes (41%), and traveling less (37%). Of course, the first step in budgeting is tracking where your money is going.

In the above graphic from Personal Capital, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category. It’s the first in a three-part series that will explore the spending and saving of Americans.

Behind the Numbers

Credit card spending is based on anonymized data from Personal Capital users, who tend to have a higher-than-average net worth. For this particular subset of users, people had an average net worth of $1.3 million and a median net worth of $405,000. Therefore, the credit card spending amounts may be higher than those of the general U.S. population.

It’s also worth noting that the data reflects credit card spending only. It does not include expenses such as mortgage or rental payments, which are typically paid through other methods.

Credit Card Spending by Category

Here’s a breakdown of monthly credit card spending, based on averaged data from November 2020 to October 2021.

CategoryMonthly Spend% of Monthly Spend
Travel$82216.9%
General Merchandise$81516.7%
Restaurants$56711.6%
Groceries$56211.5%
Clothing/Shoes$52210.7%
Home Improvement$51910.7%
Healthcare$3587.4%
Online Services$3316.8%
Entertainment$2104.3%
Gas$1683.4%
Total$4,874100.0%

Users with no transactions in a particular category were excluded from the average spending amounts. Data is statistically weighted by age to ensure accurate and reliable representation of the total U.S. population, 20 years of age and older.

As border restrictions ease, Americans are spending the most on travel. In fact, 83% of Americans say they are excited to plan a trip in a post-pandemic world. The most popular merchant within travel is Airbnb, followed by airlines such as Delta and United as air travel recovers from its pandemic slump. However, this recovery could be in jeopardy amid fresh concerns over the Omicron variant.

Travel is closely followed by general merchandise, at places like Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and Target. Monthly spending in this category has averaged at $815 over the last year. Of course, this could climb even higher near year-end due to the holiday spending boom typically seen in the U.S. every year.

On the other hand, Americans spend the least on online services (such as Google and Facebook), entertainment, and gas. Though the average monthly spending on gas was the lowest of all categories, it increased by 60% from November 2020 to October 2021. This is likely due to gas being one of the categories hit hardest by inflation, along with increased travel.

Turning Reduced Spending Into Savings

With the swipe of a credit card, it can be easy to underestimate how quickly eating out and online shopping add up. However, by taking a closer look at your credit card spending, you can get a sense of where your money is going.

Like most Americans, you may also decide to carry over at least one budget change post-pandemic. What do Americans want to do with the extra cash? Over half plan to put it towards savings, and 16% aim to contribute more to retirement savings or investments.

In Part 2 of the Americans’ Spending and Saving series, we’ll break down Americans’ financial assets by age.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Every day, high-touch surfaces present health risks to people in public spaces, and especially the most vulnerable in healthcare. In fact, of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, seven will get at least one healthcare-acquired or “hospital infection”.

With naturally antimicrobial properties, copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

In this infographic from our sponsor Teck, we explore copper’s bacteria-fighting abilities and its crucial role in public health.

How Copper Kills Bacteria

Due to its powerful antimicrobial properties, copper kills bacteria in sequential steps:

  • First, copper ions on the surface are recognized by the bacteria as an essential nutrient and enter cell.
  • Then, a lethal dose of copper ions interferes with normal cell functions.
  • Finally, the copper binds to the enzymes, impeding the cell from breathing, eating, digesting, or creating energy.

This rapid killing mechanism prevents cells from replicating on copper surfaces and significantly reduces the amount of bacteria living on the surface.

Antimicrobial copper is effective against bacteria that causes common diseases like staph infections and E. coli that causes foodborne illness. The metal continuously kills bacteria and never wears out.

Besides bacteria, researchers are currently studying copper’s impacts on the virus that causes COVID-19. A previous study suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was completely destroyed within four hours on copper surfaces, as compared to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Pre-pandemic studies also demonstrated copper’s ability to kill other coronaviruses.

The Applications of Antimicrobial Copper

Institutions around the world have already deployed antimicrobial copper solutions relating to hospitals, fitness centers, mass transit systems, schools, professional sports teams, office buildings, restaurants, and more.

To date, antimicrobial copper has been installed in more than 300 healthcare facilities around the world. Taking the reduced costs of shorter patient stay and treatment into consideration, the payback time for installing copper fittings is only two months, according to an independent study by the University of York’s Health Economics Consortium.

In Canada, Teck has worked with its partners to install antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch surfaces in hospitals, educational buildings and transit.

The Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings have installed antimicrobial copper surfaces in their strength and training facility in California. Furthermore, over 50 water bottle filling stations made from antimicrobial copper can also be found throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Copper’s Role in Public Health

While many hospitals and other institutions are already using copper fittings, others are still not aware of its impactful properties.

As awareness increases, copper can become a simple but effective material to help control the spread of infections.

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