Currently, the majority of the energy storage market is in:
• Thermal energy storage
• Pumped hydro power
• Compressed air energy storage (CAES)
• Distributed applications
• Integration of renewables – wind and solar PVs
According to the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. installed more wind capacity than any other country in 2012.
- The U.S. onshore wind energy program has grown 30% on average for the past five years.
- The U.S. has sufficient offshore wind energy resources to enable installation of at least 54 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity enough to power nearly 17 million homes.
- Total installed wind power capacity in the United States now stands at 61 gigawatts (GW) which meets nearly 4.5% of electricity demand in an average year.
- The generation of electricity from renewable energy, including solar, has a copper usage intensity that is typically four to six times higher than it is for fossil fuels.
Copper’s Key Role in Keeping Motors Running
Electric motors are found everywhere in commercial facilities and industrial plants, powering fans, pumps, compressors and exhausts as well as manufacturing and assembly equipment. These motors rely on the strength, and superior electrical and thermal conductivity of copper in order to perform better, be more energy efficient and reliable. Motors use approximately 260 million tons of copper, in the form of wiring.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IN A SMARTPHONE
The majority of phones use lithium ion batteries, which are composed of lithium cobalt oxide as a positive electrode and graphite (carbon) as the negative electrode. Copper is used for wiring in the phone, whilst copper, gold and silver are the major metals from which microelectrical components are fashioned. Smartphones also have sophisticated sound systems which utilize cobalt in their speaker magnets.
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