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.

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Thomas Hillig to present about: Renewables for off-grid mines: Status quo and outlook

THEnergy supports:

Mon

16

Oct

2017

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

The October edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” includes another hybrid project in mining and two announcements for the telecom sector. The new edition features Caterpillar, Barloworld, B2Gold, OMC, Mitsui, Rockefeller Foundation, Greenwish, Orange, RusHydro, NEDO, Tierra Hotels, Kraftwerk, and Qinous.

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Fri

15

Sep

2017

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

The summer edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” includes two new projects in the mining sector. The three other projects are all on islands. Mining and islands are two segments of the microgrid market that have increasingly gained momentum in the last months. The new edition features TATA, DHYBRID, GMA Garnet, Advanced Energy Resources, MPower, LUX Hospitality, Aera Group, Solar Design Associates, and U.S. Agriculture Department.

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Dr. Thomas Hillig Energy Consulting
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