Powering Extraction: Use of Renewables in the Minerals Sector
Energy costs represent a significant share of capital expenditure and operational expenditure for mining operations, particularly those positioned in locations where grid power is unavailable or unreliable. There is an increasingly strong case for the use of renewable energy in mining operations, particularly in hybrid systems that operate in combination with grid power or diesel generators. Renewable energy is now a viable way of diversifying energy supplies and reducing price volatility. As input energy requirements increase with decreasing mineral grade and commodity prices trend downwards, the need for energy innovation will be unavoidable. This, coupled with increased acceptance of novel technologies in the sector and renewable energy’s established role in reducing environmental impacts, will make renewable energy increasingly attractive.