Publication 29 November, 2021

Decentralised Renewable Energy Solutions for Inclusive and Sustainable Mining

The global mining sector is currently facing a conundrum. As a growing energy and emission-intensive industry, the mining sector continues to be exposed to policy and regulatory risks arising from concerns of climate change and impacts on the environment. The remoteness of mine sites and difficulty in accessing reliable electricity grids, has compelled the industry to heavily depend on fossil fuels as an energy source, especially for extractive and transportation equipment, as well as for mineral processing. This has positioned the mining sector to be among the highest greenhouse gas emitters.

With power generation playing a crucial role for the mining industry, decentralised renewable energy (DRE) offers a variety of benefits, such as a reliable and modern electricity supply, cost reduction, reduced environmental impacts, as well as the potential to mitigate climate change at scale. The challenge of sustainable power supply for mines also presents an opportunity for renewable energy and mining companies to collaborate with local communities to develop mutually beneficial solutions that meet the demands of both mining operations and surrounding communities. By doing so, local socio-economic development can be catalysed, relationships with communities strengthened and more investments mobilised.

In this context, UNIDO ITPO Germany and ARE are highlighting the opportunity for mining companies and renewable energy solution providers to enter into partnerships to move towards a responsible and inclusive mining sector. The publication highlights four case studies and two experts’ interviews of DRE in mining operations and community electrification and draws the lessons learned for future projects.

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