Renewables and Mining: An emerging relationship

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In anticipation of the African Renewable Investment Summit, Gilles Durmont, Head of Business Development at JUWI South Africa, sheds light on the intertwined nature of renewable energy and mining. Gilles will expound on this topic during the panel discussion titled ‘The Potential for Africa’s Mining Sector in Driving Renewable Energy Investments.’ + In South America, there’s a type of frog that lives with tarantulas for protection in exchange for keeping ants off their eggs. In Africa, crocodiles get their teeth cleaned by plover birds.

Symbiotic relationships are often surprising at first glance, but once the benefit to both parties is understood, they seem like obvious solutions.

Much like the surprising symbiotic relationships found in nature, the connection between the renewable energy and mining industries initially raised eyebrows. Historically, mines and environmentalists were more accustomed to facing off in courtrooms, their objectives seemingly incompatible. However, in recent years, with the rise in sustainability imperatives, emissions reductions targets and falling renewable energy technology costs,, a new opportunity for meaningful change has emerged.

Whether we like it or not, the transition to renewable energy hinges on mining. Rising demand for renewables means a growing need for mining essential resources, such as iron, copper and lithium, which take an enormous amount of energy to extract.

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