In a recent interview with CNBC, MGE professor emerita Mary Poulton discussed the high demand and increased prices for copper due to its role in the rapidly expanding field of green energy. Poulton was joined in the discussion by Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Ackerson.
Copper prices have been surging throughout 2021. In fact, May 2021, commodities analysts at Goldman Sachs called copper "the new oil." Due to its role in a variety of industries, CNBC describes the copper market as a barometer for larger economic growth throughout the world. But with the growth of green energy, copper is seeing additional demand.
"A typical gas-powered car has about 50 pounds of copper, but an electric vehicle is more like 184 pounds," Poulton said. "As we move to a decarbonized economy, we're replacing 'C' in the Periodic Table with 'Cu'."