As per the latest report on Mining for Clean Energy 2017 by Clean Energy Canada, solar PV capacity will increase more than 17-fold between 2015 and 2050. This is good news for the Canadian metals and minerals industry, that had taken a hit in the past couple of years due to low commodity prices.
The report states, “growth in solar PV capacity is creating a boom in demand for solar panels, which in turn is driving demand for the metals and mineral products used to manufacture them.”
Mining & Cleantech mutual interdependence
In one of our earlier blogs, our Vice President, Megan Helmer, had pointed out that there is a reciprocal relationship between the two industries – namely, mining and cleantech. The report by Clean Energy Canada reinstates that thought by giving us a statistical proof of how they are inter-dependent. To make a solar PV panel, you need 19 mineral products and metals. This indicates that to address the demand for the rise in solar power, the metals and mineral industry must increase its capacity to supply.
The report further lists the critical metals required to build a solar power. Copper, lead, molybdenum, silver, tin, phosphate rock, metallurgical coal, and many others are either found or produced in Canada. 14 out of the 19 critical metals are present in Canada. With natural resources being our biggest assets, our country can become the biggest supplier to support the growth of clean energy industry across the world.
The need for these critical metals and minerals are not just limited to solar PV panels but extends to other clean energy industries such as wind turbines, LED lights, and electric vehicle components and batteries. As the report, has expressed, ‘this is a significant opportunity’ for the Canadian metals and minerals industry.
Rise in Clean Energy
Published in March 2017, the federal government also released a brief on Enabling Clean Energy Applications With Canadian Minerals and Metals, capturing Canada’s potential to cater to the growing demands of a varied clean energy industry. Canada has been positioned as the clean energy enabler in the brief.
Having worked with both the clean energy and mining industry for decades now, we at PR Associates, strongly believe that a joint venture relationship between the two industries is imminent. Clean energy can support the mining industry to become sustainable and the latter can enable the former to grow.
Ambika Maitra, a Mining & CleanTech Public Relations expert