India’s import dependence on copper will go up with the rapid adoption of electric mobility and shift to renewable energy. The copper imports went up from $2.2 billion in FY21 to $2.9 billion in FY22.
The average battery electric vehicle requires 83 kg of copper, and solar photovoltaic and onshore wind platforms require nearly 3,000 kg of copper to deliver just one MW of power. Offshore wind power generation is considerably more copper demanding, requiring more than 8,000 kg of copper per per MW.
“Copper is a key component for an electric vehicle and rising EV penetration will lead to a pickup in demand for copper from the auto segment which currently accounts for close to 10% of India’s overall copper demand of around 1.1 million tonne per annum.
Thrust from renewables and the automotive sector will drive demand to over two million tonne by 2030, provided India remains on track of achieving more than 450 GW renewable power capacity and 30% EV penetration in passenger vehicles by 2030.
Demand from the auto-segment will rise to more than 25% of overall demand in that scenario,” a TOI report quoted Hetal Gandhi, director, CRISIL Research , as saying.
Hindalco, Vedanta, and HCL have primary copper production capacity. Although the combined capacity is above 1,000 kilo tonne per year, production is only around 600 kilo tonne. India’s local copper production took a hit due to the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper.