BHP Billiton Ltd., a multinational mining, metals and petroleum company headquartered in Australia recently announced it is partnering in a solar energy and battery-storage project to test technology that could be adopted at its remote mining sites.
An ability to store renewable energy in remote locations would boost miners’ options at operations located far from power infrastructure, BHP’s Wild said.
The world’s second biggest mining company by revenue, BHP is participating in the $42.5 million Lakeland Solar and Storage Project in Australia to test a 13MW solar PV installation and grid-scale storage as part of its recent forecasts showing a bullish scenario for clean power and stricter than expected environmental regulations.
In markets including Chile and Morocco, renewable energy sources already compete with non-renewable fuels on cost and will achieve global parity on a new-build, unsubsidised basis within a decade. Non-hydro renewable power will grow at more than 9% a year through 2025, according to BHP.
The Paris climate accord negotiated last year is “more substantial and ambitious,” than expected, BHP said in its statement. BHP sees the accord as supporting previous studies projecting a loss of about 2% of the value of its assets by 2030 because of measures that put a price on pollution. Investments in thermal coal or oil would be put at most risk under concerted global action, while the development of gas assets could become more attractive, the company said.
The company also suggested that oil demand is likely to fall on increased fuel efficiency and rising demand for electric vehicles, which may account for 13% of the new vehicle fleet in 2035, according to BHP’s benchmark internal forecasts.