Copper Use to Increase in Clean-Energy Push, Group Says

Copper will play an “integral role” in the push for cleaner energy after President Barack Obama announced a plan to limit carbon emissions, a policy group in Washington said.

The metal is a key component in renewable energy because of its efficiency in conducting power and use in solar panels, wind turbines and electric automobiles, the American Resources Policy Network said today in a statement. The group advocates policies aimed at expanding mineral production in the U.S.

The centerpiece of the president’s plan, announced yesterday, is a limit on carbon emissions from all power plants, a move opposed by utilities including Southern Co. (SO) and American Electric Power Co. (AEP) and Peabody Energy Corp., a coal producer. The proposal also seeks to promote renewable-energy development on federal lands, and energy-efficiency standards for appliances and government buildings.

“Because copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, it allows us to create and use energy at a very high level of efficiency, while minimizing environmental impacts,” Daniel McGroarty, the president of the policy network, said in the statement. “A steady supply of copper is critical” for Obama’s plan, he said.

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX), based in Phoenix, is the world’s biggest publicly traded copper producer.

Through yesterday, copper futures in New York dropped 16 percent this year, partly because of increasing global inventories.

Written by Joe Richter and published at the Bloomberg, June 26, 2013.

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