As many companies and organizations begin to transition to clean energy power sources, the mining industry plays a crucial role. The mining industry will experience drastically increased demand for materials, due to renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines requiring greater volumes of mined minerals than present non-renewable energy sources. Many mined minerals, such as cobalt, lithium and nickel are essential to the construction of tech products– significantly in the technology’s battery. These minerals work to improve the performance and longevity of batteries.
How is the mining industry involved?
Materials mined, such as graphite, lithium, cobalt, aluminum and copper, are necessary to produce clean energy technologies. The production of these materials is expected to increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to match the growing demand for technologies. These shifts in the materials market put pressure on the mining industry to expand and strengthen operations, including securing supply chains, redirecting operations to new areas, and limiting environmental impact. With these impacts in mind, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a six-point plan consisting of recommendations for governments and private organizations.
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IEA key recommendations
- Ensure adequate investment in diversified sources of new supply.
- Promote technology innovation at all points along the value chain.
- Scale up recycling.
- Enhance supply chain resilience and market transparency.
- Mainstream higher environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
- Strengthen international collaboration between producers and consumers.
The IEA highlights the importance of government roles during the energy transition, including supporting and promoting clear signs of confidence in the long-term energy transition. In addition, the recommendations emphasize the importance of innovation, adaption and collaboration to create new, resilient technologies to promote the clean energy transition.
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What actions may the mining industry take?
One significant setback to the mining industry currently is its majority of revenue from coal production. However, during this energy transition, the mining industry is presented with an opportunity to transition as well. Transitioning from coal to other materials with high demand from clean energy technologies will strengthen the mining industry and bolster materials supply chains. The energy transition will need support from all sides, including collaborative governmental support to foster the adoption of renewable energies globally.
Want to join the energy transition?
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