Assessing copper use against housing service scenarios

Wang, T. (2020). Assessing copper use against housing service scenarios. IIASA YSSP Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA

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In order to curb the growing material demand without compromising human needs, the material requirement needs better assessment to address the underlying services provided to human with more consistent material intensity information. A critical metal, copper, is being extensively used in buildings and household appliances which together provide the basic services like shelter and thermal comfort for human beings that was denoted as housing service. In this paper, we adopted the projected service level (floor space per capital) from the Resource Efficiency and Climate Change (RECC) framework that offers comprehensive set of global scenarios for housing, and built a dynamic stock and flow model to estimate future demand for residential buildings and appliances. We then used the cutting-edge industrial ecology tools to extend the dataset of copper intensity with value meanings being clearly illustrated as total copper requirement, direct copper input or copper content. Strategies including supply-side technological improvement and demand-side behavioral change were evaluated, and the potential and advantage of each strategy were analyzed. The results show that appliances dominate annual total copper requirements for housing service under all strategy scenarios. Behavioral change and lifetime extension have relatively immediate effect of reducing primary copper demand, but lifetime extension needs case-by-case assessment about the associated impact like energy consumption. Increasing recycling rate becomes most effective in the latter half of the century as the system becomes more and more circular. Policy making should combine those strategies in the way that addresses behavioral change as soon as possible and at the same time incentivizes improvement in technologies like modularity design and new recycling techniques.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA YSSP Report)
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2020 07:49
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:34

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