Mining and renewable energy

The Energy Industry Development team is working with the Western Australian mining industry and local manufacturers to increase the uptake of renewable energy with a focus on remote mine sites.

Energy Policy WA’s Energy Industry Development team works with the mining industry and local manufacturers to accelerate renewable energy uptake and support the growth of local industry.

The team is working to support mining projects increase use of renewable energy and to connect miners with local suppliers of renewable energy solutions. The team is investigating the barriers to greater uptake of local renewable solutions and will facilitate:

  • understanding of regulatory and approvals processes,
  • grid access and connection discussions, and
  • access to Government funding programs.

Mining is one of WA’s most important industries. In 2021, the WA resources sector contributed $230 billion to our economy and employed over 156,000 people.

Mineral mining operations account for around 17 per cent of WA’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019-20. Increasingly, companies are committing to ambitious emissions reduction targets and strategies. See the summary of the WA mineral sector’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

Remote mines which rely on diesel or trucked Liquified Natural Gas for power generation are a key focus for the team. These remote mines include gold as well as battery and critical minerals. Reducing reliance on diesel with renewable energy saves money, reduces emissions and supports local industry. See the case study  highlighting how some WA mines are deploying renewable generation to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The WA Government is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies are being developed to provide robust and credible emissions reduction pathways for Western Australia.

The Hybrid Power Purchase Agreement Guide and Template has been produced to assist new and existing mines increase their use of onsite renewable generation, without incurring additional debt, by engaging with Independent Power Producers. The Handbook: Hybrid Power Generation for Australian Off-grid Mines covers some of the initial considerations required to develop a business case for hybrid power generation.

You can contact the Energy Industry Development team at: EPWA-info@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Page reviewed 4 October 2022