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Renewable energy’s share of the electricity market is growing and that could be a good thing for miners

27 July 2021

Sustainability, Press

Within the span of only a few years renewable power has grown from supplying a fraction of the electricity used by Australians on a day to day basis to more than 25% of the national grid.

In South Australia, where wind power’s share of the market has risen sharply over the past decade, around 60% of the State’s electricity needs were serviced by renewables in 2020.

The new head of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Dan Westerman, even used a speech this month to say the AEMO was working on how to prepare a national grid that could host 100% renewable penetration by 2025.

Some sustainability experts believe the technical problem of electrifying the grid and making it renewable has fundamentally been solved.

But supplying power for remote mine sites, heat intensive processes and heavy industries is more complicated.

Given the remote location of most mines, that poses some questions for the industry, especially as pressure grows on companies from investors to run their operations sustainably and reduce carbon emissions.

While proponents like Fortescue mining magnate Andrew Forrest are bullish about green hydrogen, exactly how and when that will happen at a cost competitive rate is still unclear.

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