The mining industry, both in South Africa and globally, is likely to become reliant on renewable sources of energy. This shift in sustainability will come with the ever-decreasing cost of renewable energy technology and a more supportive regulatory environment from governments.
Mining operations across the globe will begin to use more environmentally-friendly sources of energy such as wind and solar. The main driver of this change will be the long-term cost benefits of renewable energy.
Renewable energy will save money for the mining industry
Once the initial setup and installation of renewable energy technology have been completed, mining companies will be able to start saving money on monthly energy costs. Almost one-third of a mine’s income goes to current energy costs, and this figure will increase as mines are forced to dig further and deeper in search of raw minerals.
This makes mining an ever more energy-intensive operation, which means that cheaper sources of power need to be used in order to cut costs. Renewable energy offers a reliable source of power, low maintenance costs and fewer carbon emissions.
South Africa will aid renewable energy development
South Africa has already begun to place an emphasis on renewable energy sources, aiming to become more reliant on solar and wind energy by 2030. The legislation is changing – carbon emission allowances are being tightened and more support for the emerging renewable energy sector is being implemented.
There will be incentives for energy-intensive industries, such as mining and manufacturing, to shift to self-supplied renewable power that is separate from the national electricity grid. South Africa is even debating the idea of a carbon trading scheme that will support companies who shift to green energy sources.
This shift in the mining sector will improve the industry as a whole but will take several years before it is fully implemented. With every passing year, renewable energy technology becomes more efficient and cheaper to produce, which will make it an increasingly attractive solution for mining companies.
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