Greener Mining with Electric Vehicles
Our Keelan Mooney writes in a series of blog posts exploring how mining will play its part in the race for a carbon-neutral world. He will look at how mining is changing and the challenges for both the mining sector and the insurance world. In today's blog post, Keelan will look at how mining can be made greener operationally with electric vehicles.
Mining is estimated to be responsible for four to seven percent of greenhouse gasses worldwide from direct mining activities. For the mining industry to achieve a reduction in its carbon footprint and be in line with climate goals its carbon emission would need to reduce by an estimated 50% by 2050, with one of the points of focus to replace diesel equipment with greener technologies. In any mining operation, there is a variety of equipment used in the mine sequences such as shovels, loaders, haul trucks, dozers and more.
Using non-fossil fuel-powered equipment provides advantages that can be appreciated by insurers and from mining companies themselves. Advantages such as:
Reduction in carbon pollution from operations,
Safer health environments for underground operation in respect to ventilation,
Reduced ventilation costs,
Less noise pollution,
Lower maintenance costs.
Unfortunately, everything has its downsides. When transitioning to alternative equipment powers sources such as electric, new risks may be introduced, based on specific types of operations, which insurers would consider and could include:
Operations in cold climates can limit efficiency/ operating time of equipment compared to diesel,
Change in existing infrastructure to support electric fleet, leading to more capital spend, potential construction losses, and specialized charging stations,
Increased reliance on constant electric power supply,
Limited operating range of equipment may require adjusting the mine layout,
Longer refueling times delaying operations which could lead to the need for additional equipment in the fleet.
The idea of the use of electric-powered equipment is not a novel concept in the mining industry, however, the deployment and evolution of electric equipment have varied by type and region and risen over the past years. The next few years will be important in the acceptance and implementation of electric fleets. As an alternative, hydrogen-powered equipment is being studied and researched could provide a further reduced carbon footprint, however, further development is required to improve the technology readiness level.
Keelan Mooney, EIT | Loss Adjuster
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Aqualisbraemar ASA published this content on 15 September 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 16 September 2021 06:11:03 UTC.