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Queensland resource companies invest in new technologies to reduce emissions

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World Coal,

Queensland resources sector continues to invest in new technologies to reduce emissions across the sector and is calling for an agnostic approach to the energy mix.

Queensland Resources Council’s latest State of the Sector – a quarterly survey of resource CEOs in Queensland – found companies were already investing in a lower carbon world.

“Across commodities, 40% of surveyed CEOs are currently investing in the research and development of low emission technologies from carbon capture and storage to energy efficiency projects,” QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“This expenditure will grow further over the next 12 months with 53% planning to spend more on reducing emissions and 20% to substantially increase spending.

“Energy efficiency, sometimes called the fifth fuel, is the cheapest and cleanest energy of them all. For the past 9 years, Aurizon has reduced emissions from trains by 19% by transitioning its fleet from diesel to electric.

“In another example, Anglo American has partnered with sustainable energy producer EDL to use excess gas released from coal seams to generate 108 MW of power from what was once a waste product.

“When asked about renewables 90% view the energy source as an opportunity but are equally concerned that without careful planning, intermittent generation can risk energy security and affordability.

“Queensland’s economy was built on reliable access to low cost energy and it remains a vital ingredient for the success of the resources sector. Small increases to energy costs have a large impact on trade exposed industries and lowers our international investment profile.

“Queensland’s energy mix must be affordable, reliable and help lower emissions. Resources companies are also doing their part to reduce emissions by incorporating more renewables into their own operations.

“In Weipa, Rio Tinto’s 1.7 MW solar farm generates 20% of the town’s daytime energy demand saving up to 2.3 million l of diesel and 1600 t of carbon dioxide annually.

“South32’s Cannington mine – one of the world’s largest producers of silver and lead – opened a 7200 panel, 3 MW solar farm in December last year which powers the mine’s accommodation, airport and sends additional power to its mining operations cutting emissions by up to 6000 tpy.

“Adani is also investing in renewable capacity. Rugby Run Solar Farm near Moranbah supplies 65 MW of renewable power – the equivalent of powering 23 000 regional Queensland homes and businesses each year using more than 247 000 solar panels.

“Renewables also provide an important new source of demand growth for Queensland’s minerals. Energy from coal generation requires about 2 kg/kW of copper, whereas solar requires 5 g/kW.”

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