Climate

Sun and wind in Germany keeps Karmøy busy. That’s how aluminium makes power supply more climate friendly.

Trond Olaf Christophersen

By , Fabrikksjef på Karmøy aluminiumverk

Sun and wind in Germany keeps Karmøy busy. That’s how aluminium makes power supply more climate friendly.

In only a short space of time, aluminium has become the most important material for power supply in Europe. Photo: Hydro/Dag Jenssen

Angela Merkel and the German government are replacing fossil fuels with renewables. That has had a ripple effect all the way to Karmøy.

Because while existing power lines and cables in Europe have been made from copper, the new high-voltage power lines will be made increasingly from aluminium. The investment in renewable energy supplies to Germany requires a whole new infrastructure to transport the wind and solar energy planned for production.

We outdo our competitors because aluminium weighs and costs one-third less

Aluminium taking the lead

We outdo our competitors because compared to copper, aluminium weighs one-third less, costs one-third less, and has 60 percent of its electrical conductivity, which is compensated for by slightly thicker power transmission lines. In only a short space of time, aluminium has become the most important material for power supply in Europe.

Today Hydro Karmøy supplies 70 000 tonnes of Europe’s total demand of 500 000 tonnes.

Supplying Europe with power

The EU wants to play a leading role in international climate policy, and Germany is spearheading EU’s efforts to develop a more ambitious common climate policy.

Towards 2030, Europe will need an estimated 50 000 kilometers of new power transmission lines.  Eighty percent of this will be needed for developing renewable energy, which will require power to be transported from the plants to densely populated regions. This means a 30-percent growth in demand for wire rod products towards 2025.

Germany aims to achieve drastic reductions in its carbon emissions. All nuclear plants will be phased out, and wind turbines, solar panels and biomass will account for 80 percent of the country’s energy supply in 2050.

And we are delighted to be contributing to this development!

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