In a possible sign of what's to come, new signals in the mining industry indicate that renewable energy amy soon power mining operations in many places across the world.
Market research firm Navigant Research today issued a report showing that mining companies, which use massive amounts of energy, are now looking to reduce the costs of rising energy prices. Many mine sites, especially those in remote locations, could soon come to rely heavily on renewable energy technologies.
The report estimates that at least 5% of the energy used by the mining industry by the year 2022 will come from renewable sources. According to Navigant, less than 0.1% of the industry's current energy consumption is from renewable sources.
Moving into the next few years, wind power will become the most important renewable energy technology to the mining industry, making up over half of the industry's renewable energy by 2022. Solar power will come next in popularity, supplying a bit less than half of the industry's renewable energy.
“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,” said Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director at Navigant. “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.”