Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why integrate renewable energy generation with your mining operation?

A synergy is created when renewable energy systems are integrated into existing and planned mining operations. This is of particular interest to remote or otherwise off-grid operations that are faced with expensive logistical challenges and environmental hurdles associated with transporting fuel over large distances to be used for on-site thermal generation or constructing expensive transmission infrastructure to bring on-grid power to their operations. Wasted energy is also an unnecessary cost.  Having a comprehensive energy strategy is key to cost effective mining operations.

Mining operators need an uninterrupted, cost-effective means of supplying energy to power their operations. Developers and operators may need to rely on higher cost coal-fired, oil and diesel generation can offset their carbon footprint and the risk of price escalation and security of hydrocarbon fuel supplies by integrating renewable energy schemes into their mine plans. Some of the plentiful and lasting potential benefits of renewable energy include the following:
  • Creation of a legacy resource, which will carry the mine through operations and may be shared with or co-managed with neighboring communities, fostering enduring relationships and good will (this is particularly beneficial for projects located in developing nations where clean power generation is rare or too costly for communities to develop on their own)
  • Opportunity for mining operations to distinguish themselves as sustainable ventures that are favorable to shareholders, community stakeholders, government regulators and environmental NGOs
  • Reduced dependence on volatile fuel prices and insecure supplies
  • Reduced carbon footprints
  • Opportunity to offset greenhouse gas emissions and to take part in the emerging carbon economy
Source: (in part) Knight PiƩsold Consulting

1 comment:

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