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Chile to track renewable energy for copper mining on blockchain


Chile’s National Electricity Coordinator (CEN) is developing a blockchain platform that will be used to trace renewable energy usage in copper production. The Renova initiative is not limited to copper and aims to provide renewable energy traceability and a log of all the country’s renewable energy resources.

There is a growing demand in the mining industry for more transparent and environmentally-friendly practices, and companies are looking at renewable energy as a solution to mitigate the environmental impacts of copper mining. 

The renewable energy sector is growing at a fast pace in Chile. Nevertheless, selling duplicate contracts or accounting for the same renewable energy certificate twice are still common occurrences. 

Renova aims to address this issue by tracking each megawatt of renewable energy produced towards copper production on blockchain, reports Bloomberg. CEN already has access to data on renewable energy generation and consumption. Now, it is encouraging copper mining companies to share their renewable energy contracts so that the information can be put on the platform and compared against existing data.

The platform mitigates opportunities for fraud in the renewable energy sector and gives an additional layer of trust to miners that they are getting the clean energy they are paying for, which is more expensive than traditional electricity. Additionally, Renova will aid Chile in its objective to be carbon neutral by 2050. 

One aspect to consider is that mining companies and generators have to submit data and contracts to the blockchain network willingly. Therefore the success of the solution is dependent on the cooperation of the whole copper industry in Chile.

Meanwhile, various other mining-related traceability solutions are in the works. Re|Source, a cobalt traceability platform, is being piloted by Glencore, CMOC, and ERG. Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining companies in the world, is trialing START, a blockchain traceability solution for aluminium. Norway-based Hydro is also piloting a traceability platform for aluminum.