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Positioning Renewables for Boom Days in Mining Companies

A few things affect how keen mining companies are to move from study to adoption of renewable energy. One thing is the prolonged downturn in minerals and metals commodity prices. The other includes a generally sluggish outlook for the mining industry. That is what Rob Lydan, a former global director for solar and wind renewable power at Hatch in Mississauga, Ontario says. “The commodity outlook is the oxygen that the mining business breathes,” he explains.

Lydan is convinced that most mining companies will proceed cautiously toward adopting solar PV, wind, or other alternative forms of energy within their operations. Of course, that is until commodity prices start to rebound out of their current slump. “At the top of the boom, people’s sole interest is how much more they can get out of the ground.” “And, how fast they can process it,” he says. “During a bust, their singular priority is avoiding cost. Commodity prices are the beginning and ending of this business.”

It is true that renewable energy providers may fnd the current situation frustrating. However, now is the time to position for an uptick in commodity prices. “The ramping in between booms and busts—be it down or up—is when innovative ideas are likely to experience more adoption,” says Lydan. He therefore predicts that wind, solar, and other renewable energy options will begin to see greater adoption.” He claims that this will happen when the commodity depression ends and prices climb again.

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