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Copper demand set to grow as the data centre industry changes

Published: 30 October 2019 - Sarah Mead

Copper use in the Data Centre (DC) industry will continue to grow as the market is moving towards large and hyperscale DCs on one hand and the edge DCs on the other, according to new research commissioned by the International Copper Association (ICA). The research, conducted by BSRIA, found that Large and Hyperscale DCs will account for 67% demand of copper in the building contained sector by 2030, increasing from 37% in 2018.

Growing demand for the seamless delivery of an increasing number of IoT related services has resulted in a move towards Large and Hyperscale DCs. They require increased power generation, often from renewable energy sources, effective power distribution and more ICT equipment. These factors will all contribute to an increase in copper demand, including a large share from new construction – research shows a 6.5% share increase of the segment.

The rise of edge computing, and the related DC units as a result of the growth of smartphones and real-time applications, as well as smart cities with their smart transport infrastructures, will increase demand further from 543,000 tonnes in 2020 to an estimated 725,000 tonnes in 2030.

Krystyna Dawson, Director at BSRIA, said, “Our global research found a clear link between the trend for larger DCs, increased edge computing demand and increased copper demand.  Geographically, North America is the largest market, accounting for 48% of building contained DC copper demand by 2030.”

Colin Bennett, Global Manager, Market Analysis and Outreach at ICA, stated “Thanks to its unique properties, copper facilitates the efficient generation and delivery of electricity making it an integral part of the development of innovative technologies. This research demonstrates that link in DCs, a sector vital to the future of smart technologies”.



 
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