SA is officially a renewable energy powerhouse … and the private sector is starting to cash in


South Australia’s green energy credentials make it a favorable location for projects seeking to pave the way for a more sustainable future.

About 60% of SA’s electricity needs were covered by renewables in 2020, and up to 100% at times, a stark difference from its reliance on fossil fuels just two decades ago.

Seemingly at odds with Canberra’s confused stance on renewables, the state’s liberal government further demonstrated its commitment to a transition to renewables by launching the latest development plan late last year. South Australia Climate Action, comprising 68 actions in seven focus areas to increase investment and jobs in low-income countries. emissions until 2025.

Using natural resources to build a climate-smart resource sector

At the launch of South Australia’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025, Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said it contained the Marshall government’s approach to to build a strong and climate-smart economy and to pursue its intentions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The demand for low-emission, climate-smart products is increasing, and South Australia is well equipped to use our abundance of sun, wind and other natural resources to take full advantage of this growing demand,” said he declared.

The government hopes its actions will help the state move towards its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

The main objectives in the seven focus areas include accelerating the renewable energy economy in South Australia, developing a world-class hydrogen industry, attracting and growing businesses and renewable energy industries and the development of a climate-smart resource sector.

Businesses keen to participate in South Australia’s green economy

A South Australian government spokesperson said Storer that the successful integration of renewables by the state creates a competitive advantage for state enterprises, including resource companies, by reducing the price of electricity, improving reliability and reducing emissions from products they produce.

One such example is Project Energy Connect, the $ 2.3 billion interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, which will create a highway for renewable energy produced in South Australia through to South Australia. East Coast.

Companies in the resource sector in South Australia have the opportunity to benefit from the state’s positioning in green energy.

MGT’s Razorback iron ore project in the Braemar iron ore formation would produce 2.7 million tonnes per year of high grade concentrate over an initial mine life of 23 years at a capital cost of 429 to 506 million US dollars.

That’s about a third of the price of more than $ 1.5 billion that a previous management study in 2013 showed the project would bear to go into production.

Part of the reduction in capital and operating costs will come from harnessing the cheap wind power available on the SA grid rather than generating electricity on site.

This has not gone unnoticed by market watchers. Peloton Capital resource analyst Ian Spence noted that 65% of grid electricity in the emerging Braemar iron ore region in northeastern South Africa currently comes from renewables. , with an expectation that it will soon drop to nearly 90%.

This is something in favor of Magnetite Mines as investors and iron ore consumers seek products with greener credentials.

Other companies such as copper miner Oz Minerals have demonstrated their commitment to a low carbon economy by creating a hybrid power plant at the Carrapateena project in the highly promising Grawler Craton, about 160 km north of Port Augusta.

The Hybrid Power Plant was designed as a stand-alone collaboration platform to enable start-ups, suppliers, researchers and academics to use the site safely for trials and experiments.

On March 19, OZL hosted a Virtual Opening for Development, in which South Australian Energy and Mines Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said Oz Minerals was a leader in adopting the change.

“Although many executives have big ideas, they rarely get the opportunity to test prototypes at working mine sites,” he said.

“The state government was very proud to support the hybrid power plant with a $ 1 million Renewable Technology Fund grant to help make this project a reality. “

Experiments conducted at the plant will address challenges facing mining companies around the world, such as optimizing demand for electricity and fuel, integrating renewables, storage solutions and of electric vehicles to generate many benefits.

The initial configuration of the hybrid power plant includes photovoltaic solar power, battery storage, diesel generation and a micro-grid controller.

Havilah’s Kalkaroo copper-gold-cobalt project in northeastern South Australia includes more than 16,000 km2 of very promising mining concessions.

The company has undertaken environmental conservation and enhancement projects on the land where the Kalkaroo deposit is located and said its goal is to use natural geographic advantages to maximize production and use of renewable energy.

Havilah is commissioning its own pilot solar-wind-battery power generation system at the Kalkaroo exploration base camp, bringing the company closer to its goal of developing a potential future source of ethical copper and gold (more potentially cobalt, rare earths and molybdenum).

Focus ESG

As the world moves towards the manufacture of electric vehicles and the production of renewable energy, essential minerals such as copper, graphite and lithium will continue to be in demand.

But as retail and institutional investors increasingly align themselves with environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) stocks, companies are increasingly starting to incorporate ESG factors into their business. DNA.

Magnetite Mines’ head of stakeholder engagement, Allan Kane, told Stockhead that water is a key part of the company’s ESG program at the Razorback iron ore project.

“We are located in a sheep grazing area, and rainfall and the availability and security of water supply are really important to the farmers and ranchers around us,” he said.

“And they make sure that we are aware of this when we design our project and consider the options we have for our own water supply. “

He said it was important for the company to understand the environmental, land management and social context of the area in which it works.

At Stockhead, we say it as it is. Although Magnetite Mines is an advertiser for Stockhead, it did not sponsor this article.

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