Energy and Mines


Miners rush to energy security: A turning point

Miners rush to energy security: A turning point
July 24
10:03 2017

Of the many takeaways from this June’s Energy and Mines Australia Summit in Perth, awareness of the inevitability of a low-carbon economy may be the most striking. Miners are now discussing how to integrate renewables—the debate over whether to do it at all is over.

With the Paris Climate Accord reaffirmed and a host of pioneering projects underway in Australia, “[t]here is a shift happening that means it is time for everybody in the industry to take an active part in the conversation so that nobody is left behind,” ARENA’s Katie Dickson asserts.

While cost has been the main driver, energy security has also emerged as a somewhat ironic incentive for miners to adopt clean energy. Companies that once cited reliability as a potential problem for renewables are now turning to solar and wind to avoid grid blackouts and mandated curtailment. Grid-connected projects can even create new revenue streams for miners.

A field trip to the DeGrussa Copper Mine’s solar project gave attendees who are new to solar an opportunity to learn from others. Those interested in short-term solutions were able to consult with SunShift about re-deployable technology. Generating and using heat on-site and reducing demand through automation were also hot topics at the Summit.

Read more about takeaways from the Energy and Mines Australia Summit at ReWire.


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Kate Dougherty

Kate Dougherty