Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market House Prices Bull Market Trend Current State - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver End of Week Technical, CoT and Fundamental Status - Gary_Tanashian
3.Stock Market Dow Trend Forecast - April Update - Nadeem_Walayat
4.When Will the Stock Market’s Rally Stop? - Troy_Bombardia
5.Russia and China Intend to Drain the West of Its Gold - MoneyMetals
6.BAIDU (BIDU) - Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stocks Investing To Profit from AI Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Stop Feeding the Chinese Empire - ‘Belt and Road’ Trojan Horse - Richard_Mills
8.Stock Market US China Trade War Panic! Trend Forecast May 2019 Update - Nadeem_Walayat
9.US China Trade Impasse Threatens US Lithium, Rare Earth Imports - Richard_Mills
10.How to Invest in AI Stocks to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
US Dollar Rallies Off Support But Is This A Top Or Bottom? - 19th June 19
Most Income Investors Are Picking Up Nickels in Front of a Steamroller - 19th June 19
Is the Stock Market’s Volatility About to Spike? - 19th June 19
Facebook's Libra Crypto currency vs Bitcoin: Five Key Differences - 19th June 19
Fed May Trigger Wild Swing In Stock Index and Precious Metals - 19th June 19
How Long Do Land Rover Discovery Sport Brake Pads Last? - 19th June 19
Gold Golden 'Moment of Truth' Is Upon Us: $1,400-Plus or Not? - 18th June 19
Exceptional Times for Gold Warrant Special Attention - 18th June 19
The Stock Market Has Gone Nowhere and Volume is Low. What’s Next - 18th June 19
Silver Long-Term Trend Analysis - 18th June 19
IBM - Watson Deep Learning - AI Stocks Investing - Video - 18th June 19
Investors are Confident, Bullish and Buying Stocks, but… - 18th June 19
Gold and Silver Reversals – Impossible Not to Notice - 18th June 19
S&P 500 Stuck at 2,900, Still No Clear Direction - 17th June 19
Is Boris set to be the next Conservation leader? - 17th June 19
Clock’s Ticking on Your Chance to Profit from the Yield Curve Inversion - 17th June 19
Stock Market Rally Faltering? - 17th June 19
Johnson Vs Gove Tory Leadership Contest Grudge Match Betfair Betting - 17th June 19
Nasdaq Stock Index Prediction System Is Telling Us A Very Different Story - 17th June 19
King Dollar Rides Higher Creating Pressures On Foreign Economies - 17th June 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Tailgate Not Working Problems Fix (70) - 17th June 19
Stock Market Outlook: is the S&P today just like 2007 or 2016? - 17th June 19
US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - 16th June 19
Gold Stocks Bull Upleg Mounting - 16th June 19
Gold Price Seasonal Trend Analysis - Video - 16th June 19
Fethiye Market Fruit, Veg, Spices and Turkish Delight Tourist Shopping - 16th June 19
US Dollar Gold Trend Analysis - 15th June 19
Gold Stocks “Launch” is in Line With Fundamentals - 15th June 19
The Rise of Silver and Major Economic Decline - 15th June 19
Fire Insurance Claims: What Are the Things a Fire Claim Adjuster Does? - 15th June 19
How To Find A Trustworthy Casino? - 15th June 19
Boris Johnson Vs Michael Gove Tory Leadership Grudge Match - Video - 14th June 19
Gold and Silver, Precious Metals: T-Minus 3 Seconds To Liftoff! - 14th June 19
Silver Investing Trend Analysis - Video - 14th June 19
The American Dream Is Alive and Well - in China - 14th June 19
Keeping the Online Gaming Industry in Line - 14th June 19
How Acquisitions Affect Global Stocks - 14th June 19
Please Don’t Buy the Dip in Nvidia or Other Chip Stocks - 14th June 19
A Big Thing in Investor Education is Explainer Videos - 14th June 19
IRAN - The Next American War - 13th June 19
Boris Johnson Vs Michael Gove Tory Leadership Grudge Match Contest - 13th June 19
Top Best VPN Services You Can Choose For Your iPhone - 13th June 19
Tory Leadership Contest Betting Markets Forecast - Betfair - 13th June 19
US Stock Market Setting Up A Pennant Formation - 13th June 19
Which Stocks Will Lead The Cannabis Rebound? - 13th June 19
The Privatization of US Indo-Pacific Vision - Project 2049, Armitage, Budget Ploys and Taiwan Nexus - 12th June 19
Gold Price Breaks to the Upside - 12th June 19
Top Publicly Traded Casino Company Stocks for 2019 - 12th June 19
Silver Investing Trend Analysis - 12th June 19
Why Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks Aren’t as Safe as You Think - 12th June 19
Technical Analysis Shows Aug/Sept Stock Market Top Pattern Should Form - 12th June 19
FTSE 100: A Top European Index - 12th June 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Gold Price Trend Forecast Summer 2019

Mines That Run On Solar Or Wind Power

Commodities / Renewable Energy Aug 21, 2014 - 11:03 AM GMT

By: OilPrice_Com

Commodities Mining companies are often seen as dinosaurs when it comes to making changes that will benefit the environment, but that perception may be shifting as some companies turn to renewable energy to cut costs and lighten their carbon footprint.

At first blush, mining and renewable energy seem incongruous. Mining's reputation as a voracious consumer of fossil fuels is well deserved, especially surface mining, where diesel-sucking haul trucks perform endless loops to and from gigantic pits scraped ever-deeper by immense earth-moving machines belching greenhouse gases.


Contrast that with solar panel installations, with their acres of gleaming panels and gently humming generators, or wind farms, where silent spinning blades crank out megawatts of emissions-free power.

But as the cost of diesel fuel and electricity continues to rise, mining companies are searching for ways to cut their energy bill, and renewables are looking increasingly attractive. The main reason is cost. Choosing renewable energy, especially in an industrial setting, used to be cost-prohibitive, but that is starting to change, in some cases dramatically.

CleanTechnica reported last week that for systems with the right economies of scale -- 10 megawatts or higher -- solar power can now be generated for between $70 and $100 per megawatt hour. That is four times lower than in 2009. China and the United States both have plans to make solar competitive with coal-powered electricity within a few years.

Another reason is security of supply. Mines are often located in remote areas where grid power is spotty and more costly than in cities. In South Africa, a shortage of power in 2008 caused rolling blackouts, causing several mines to shut down. Two years ago, Egyptian mining company Centamin had to temporarily close its Sukari gold mine due to a dispute with its diesel fuel supplier.

Running a mine on renewables, often in combination with fossil fuels, offers mining companies a way to own and control their own power supplies. Excess power generated by solar and wind at mines can be sold to utility companies, offsetting costs.

Lastly, using renewables in their operations is a way for mining companies to change their reputation as something of eco-pariahs, which can only help their relations with governments and host communities.

South African miners staring at the sun

If there is a test case for using solar to power mines, it is South Africa. The country receives over 2,500 hours of sun a year, but what really makes the mining powerhouse a candidate for solar is the increasing costs of electricity. As mentioned, South Africa suffered blackouts in 2008, and its power utility, Eskom, is doing everything it can to ensure that doesn't happen again. The result has been a 25 percent annual rise in electricity prices over the last six years; for the next five years, Eskom is allowed to increase rates by 8 percent a year.

South Africa's miners are fighting back with solar. German mining company CRONIMET was the first to connect solar power to the grid at its Thaba chromium mine in Limpopo province. The 1-megawatt solar facility supplements the mine's diesel-based power system. CRONIMET says it used to consume almost 2 million litres of diesel fuel a year. Since installing its hybrid PV-solar system in 2012, the company has cut its diesel bill by half a million dollars.

Harmony Gold, South Africa's third largest gold miner, has also started working solar into its electricity mix. According to PV Insider, the company has started building a 5- to 7-megawatt solar park in Free State province, and another 18-MW facility in North West province, with the goal of alleviating pressure on peak energy usage.

Over in Tanzania, African Barrick Gold is exploring the possibility of using solar power at its Bulyanhulu mine, Mining Weekly reports. The company has also looked to move away from diesel-generated power by tapping into the state-run power utility, which uses a combination of hydro, natural gas and thermal energy. African Barrick Gold expects solar could give its three mines in Tanzania 18 percent of their power needs.

And then there's wind

Wind power is also being tried by mining companies intent on slashing electricity bills. Vale, the world's third largest mining company by market value, has formed a joint venture with Australian company Pacific Hydro to build and operate two wind farms in Brazil's northeast.

Vale, a major iron ore producer, is expecting its demand for electricity to jump 150 percent by 2020. In a press release, the Brazil-based company said it wants to use hydro, wind and biomass to help meet that demand, as well as to diversity its energy mix, reduce emissions and cut costs.

As mining companies continue to evaluate their power options in an era of higher diesel fuel and electricity costs, it is interesting to contemplate whether they could one day foresee operating in an environment more weighted towards renewables than conventional energy. While that seems far-fetched now, considering the amount of equipment and plant machinery that relies on conventional power and fuel, the examples cited here show that renewables are already finding increasing currency among the world's major miners.

They also demonstrate that mining companies are not oblivious to broader environmental issues, and are willing to make changes in the direction of renewables, especially if there is a motivation to cut costs.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/...

By Andrew Topf of Oilprice.com

© 2014 Copyright OilPrice.com- All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules