Solar is beating out coal in Australia, pushing down emissions

Record-high renewables growth is transforming Australia’s electricity landscape, pushing out coal plants and lowering prices and emissions. Solar and wind output during the fourth quarter within the five jurisdictions that make up the National Electricity Market increased 39% from a year earlier, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said Monday in its quarterly report. That helped cut power-generation emissions 5% to the lowest in data going back to 2001 and slashed wholesale prices by almost a fifth.

Shell starts solar farm construction

Oil and gas major Shell has started the construction of a 120 MW solar farm that would supply electricity to the QGC gas venture, in Queensland. The solar farm will connect to the national electricity market grid and would generate enough clean energy to power 50 000 homes, said Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

Shell builds solar farm to supply QGC gas venture

Oil and gas major Shell has started the construction of a 120 MW solar farm that would supply electricity to the QGC gas venture, in Queensland. The solar farm will connect to the national electricity market grid and would generate enough clean energy to power 50 000 homes, said Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

Miners ditching diesel seek to cut costs and emissions

Mining companies under investor pressure to curb carbon emissions are weaning themselves off the most polluting power sources, and see lower costs in using alternatives. Fortescue Metals Group joined rivals including BHP and Anglo American in flagging potential savings from new investments to switch mines to renewable energy as it expands a $700-million program meto add transmission lines, solar arrays and battery storage in Australia’s Pilbara region. With energy accounting for as much as a fifth of a mine’s costs, less polluting options can often be cheaper than shipping diesel to remote locations. “We are very keen to utilise more renewables,” CEO Elizabeth Gaines said in an interview. “We know it’s the right thing to do. We want to reduce our emissions, and we want to stay low cost.” The Perth-based iron-ore producer will install a hybrid solar and gas supply to serve its Iron Bridge project rather than using diesel, adding to a deal signed last year to switch its Chichester Hub to renewable sources.

Solar reducing electricity costs, lowering diesel use

Solar power is playing a major role in reducing daytime electricity bills and lowering diesel use in off-grid diesel consuming areas, says SunRanch.Solar, whose clients are benefiting from below grid power costs and major diesel savings. “We reduce people’s daytime power costs by 60% to 70%,” SunRanch.Solar chairperson Charles Mostert told Mining Weekly Online.

Fortescue turns to solar power

Iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals has struck a landmark agreement with Alinta Energy to employ renewable energy at the Chichester Hub iron-ore operations, in the Pilbara. Up to 100% of the daytime stationary energy requirements at the Chichester Hub will be powered by renewable energy, with Fortescue saying on Friday that the solar gas hybrid project would see the construction of a 60 MW solar photovoltaic generating facility at Chichester, which comprises the Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations.

B2Gold approves $3m hybrid energy project for Mali mine

Canadian gold miner B2Gold has approved the $3-million implementation of an offgrid solar battery hybrid system at its Fekola mine, in Mali. Construction is set to start at the end of this year, with completion scheduled for August 2020. The approval follows the completion of a preliminary study earlier this year which evaluated the technical and economic viability of adding the solar battery plant to the mine site.

Anglo American to use only renewable energy in Chile by 2021

nglo American said on Wednesday it would use only renewable sources to power its mine operations in Chile beginning in 2021, thanks to a deal the global miner signed with the Chilean subsidiary of Italian energy giant Enel. Renewable energy supplied by Enel Chile will power Anglo American's flagship Los Bronces copper mine, as well as its El Soldado and Chagres operations, the company said in a statement.

Does renewables pioneer Germany risk running out of power?

Germany, a poster child for responsible energy, is renouncing nuclear and coal. The problem is, say many power producers and grid operators, it may struggle to keep the lights on. The country, the biggest electricity market in the European Union, is abandoning nuclear power by 2022 due to safety concerns compounded by the Fukushima disaster and phasing out coal plants over the next 19 years to combat climate change.