European copper industry commits to new leadership role in “decarbonizing” the EU

May 8, 2017 - The European Copper Institute (ECI) has launched a new sustainable energy initiative that will connect technologies, policies and markets with the goal of decarbonizing Europe. DecarbEurope will engage decision makers in both the policy and industry sectors to provide cost-effective technical solutions that can each reduce European greenhouse gas emissions by several hundred million tonnes per year.

“Industrial companies are at the forefront in taking responsibility for their contribution to climate change, for their carbon footprints and for the energy consumption of their products,” said Hans De Keulenaer, director of energy and electricity for ECI. “The European copper industry has demonstrated a long commitment to reducing its own energy consumption. Now, we are enlarging this leadership role by providing a multi-faceted roadmap for decarbonization.”

DecarbEurope provides concrete solutions that are technology-based, cost-effective and scalable. These ambitious targets promote a smart and user-centric energy system by utilizing technologies that are ready for market but currently face some regulatory or technological barriers. ECI vows to act as a connector between manufacturers and policymakers to remove some of these barriers and to unlock the significant contribution these solutions can bring to the EU’s energy and climate objectives. The initiative also recognizes the need for a strong and systematic focus on energy efficiency when designing, installing, commissioning and operating energy solutions.

“Our goal is to create an open opportunity for industry representatives, policy makers and other stakeholders to work toward responsible energy consumption, carbon reduction and economic growth,” said Fleming Voetmann, vice president of public affairs at the International Copper Association (ICA). “Together we can make a significant contribution to a low-carbon energy transition.”

ICA and ECI are part of the Copper Alliance®, a federation of copper promotion centers that collectively represent the world’s copper industry. The Copper Alliance is active in more than 60 countries.

Copper plays a crucial role in the transition to a sustainable and efficient energy environment. Its natural properties of high conductivity, recyclability and reliability make it a key component for increasing the efficiency of equipment or integrating renewable technology into energy systems. Using one additional kilogram of copper in a device (e.g., a generator, transformer or motor) can reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime by 100 to 7,500 kilograms, depending on the application, generating energy savings of 24 to 2,400 EUR (or about 26 to 2,600 USD).

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