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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Hillig to present at Microgrid Global Innovation Forum in London:

Thu

23

Aug

2018

Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – July / August 2018 by THEnergy

The new edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” is mainly about projects in rural electrification. It covers projects in Australia, Gabon, Alaska, Great Britain, and Ethiopia.  The new edition features Aggreko, Younicos, Gold Fields, ENGIE, Ausar Energy, SAFT, Moixa Energy, Hitachi, and General Electric.

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Sun

08

Jul

2018

DiscoverHydropower: A visit to four hydropower plants in Portugal, Scotland, and Iceland

While falling costs of solar and wind power plants have sparked a boom all over the world, hydropower is marginalized in many regions. A recent visit by four energy experts to four hydropower plants in Portugal, Scotland, and Iceland raises the question of whether hydropower can play a role in the energy transition toward renewables.

 

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Dr. Thomas Hillig Energy Consulting
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D-80469 München

info @ th-energy.net
Tel.: +49-152-36186442