The mining industry, which uses tremendous amounts of energy each year, is on the verge of changing the way it manages energy. More remote operations, rising energy prices, and the desire to reduce mining companies’ carbon footprints have created a growing consensus in the mining industry that renewable energy at mine sites is not only feasible but also, in many cases, necessary. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the portion of energy consumption in the mining industry supplied by renewable energy will grow from less than 0.1 percent to at least 5% – and possibly up to 8% – by 2022.
“A number of mines are already utilizing large-scale wind power, but these sites were chosen based on extreme needs and/or ideal wind characteristics,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research. “The industry is now at a point where it can move forward into larger and more complex deployments, potentially including energy storage technologies, which would enable a higher percentage of renewable use per mine site.”
Wind power will account for the majority of deployed renewable energy assets by 2022, with nearly 516 megawatts (MW) of capacity, according to the report. Following closely will be solar power, with 493 MW of installed capacity. In all, more than 1,438 MW of renewable energy capacity for mining operations will be deployed worldwide by 2022, the report concludes.
The report, “Renewable Energy in the Mining Industry”, analyzes the global market for renewable energy in the mining industry. The study provides an analysis of developments in the sector from a quantitative and qualitative perspective.