A recent report by THEnergy and Voltalia indicates that the use of renewable energy in the African mining sector can realize significant cost savings when employing these power solutions.
According to the report, the mining sector has shifted from phase one – where the focus of renewable power adoption was on integrating and testing out the reliability of these solutions – to phase two – where potential cost savings are being considered.
In various microgrid applications, renewables combined with diesel, HFO, or gas have proven to provide reliable power supply to remote mines, the report said adding that the last few years, more and more mining companies have adopted wind and solar systems to reduce their energy costs.
THEnergy and Voltalia explained that for almost all mines, the integration of renewables will have a positive impact on their energy cost position.
Mining companies do not have to invest their own money; independent power providers (IPPs) invest in the renewable energy infrastructure and sell electricity to mines through power purchase agreements (PPAs).
“With the support of a leading renewable energy player, the new report analyses how IPPs can offer extremely competitive PPAs to remote miners,” Thomas Hillig, Managing Director of THEnergy said.
During the last 14 years, we have gained experience in renewable energy projects including solar-diesel hybrid microgrids, projects in remote locations and in developing countries”, points out Alexis Goybet, Head of Hybrid Solutions at Voltalia.