Development of renewable energy and mining

Mining companies are often considered as not willing to make changes towards environmental friendly solutions, but that perception may be changing as some companies turn to solar & wind energy to cut costs and improve their corporate sustainability.

Recent developments in mining:

  • higher electricity needs as raw material quality normally deteriorates during the life-time of the mine
  • price pressure on key mining products such as gold
  • openness for alternative energy solutions
  • renewable energy plays an important role in the corporate sustainability strategy

Recent development in the renewable energy sector:

  • falling prices in both solar and wind (solar panel price decrease by 75% during 3 years)
  • proven track record and excellent reliability (big renewable energy plants are technically considered as low-risk by institutional investors)
  • development of technical solutions for the integration of diesel and renewable energy
  • considerable number of solar and wind pilot projects in the mining industry

Biggest obstacles: financing and penetration:

  • some mining companies require an even higher profitability
  • some mines are so cash constraint that they do not have the financial means to invest
  • some mines are at the end of their lifetime
  • the renewable energy costs are generally estimated as higher than they are
  • energy is not considered as a core competence for many mines
  • technical penetration of many renewable energy systems is not judged as very high ( maximum percentage of renewable energy that still guarantees a reliable electricity generation at different sun / wind conditions)

Many of these bottlenecks actually do not reflect the reality today. There are solutions for external financing such as rental or power providers selling the energy to the mine. Flexible rental solutions allows at the same time for renewable energy solutions for mines with a shorter remaining lifetime. On the technical side improvements of diesel generators will improve penetration as well as enhancements of hybrid controlling units.

TWITTER: THEnergy on Top 100 list for Renewable Energy

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Wed

12

Jul

2017

Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – July 2017 by THEnergy

The July edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” includes a cutting-edge water-treatment project, a large-scale community project, a major acquisition, a hybrid energy system for a hospital, and a support scheme. It features Water Mission, Poul Due Jensen Foundation, Power and Water Corporation, Conergy, BMD, Aggreko, Younicos, UOSSM, and ADB. The July edition covers news from Tanzania, Australia, UK, Germany, Syria, and the Pacific region.

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Tue

11

Jul

2017

Caribbean Island of Sint Eustatius beats top solar countries

Per capita, the small Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius has installed more solar power than the top solar PV countries Germany, Japan, Italy, Australia, UK, USA, Spain, France, China, and India.

Islands are leading the way to the renewable energy future!

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Dr. Thomas Hillig Energy Consulting
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D-80469 München

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