The fast transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy is essential when dealing with climate change. To build solar wind turbines, solar panels, and other required materials essential in developing renewable energy infrastructure. If not correctly done, the acquisition of material to develop renewable energy infrastructure may destroy the ecosystems and the species.
In today’s research publication, there have been a mapping of potential mining areas globally and examined how they vary with biodiversity conservation sites. In an analysis, it was found that renewable energy production will increase the dangers in the conservation sites for biodiversity for different plants and animals. It is correct to assume that mining of renewable minerals may lead to additional damage to the natural environment more than the climate change that researchers predict in some world regions.
Australia is becoming a leader in the extraction of materials to develop renewable energy and have a mission to a low-carbon world. There is a need to manage our environment from being harmful to the mining process. Now, about 17 percent of the total global energy consumption comes from renewable energy. To reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses, the development of renewable energy sources must increase. The development of renewable energy infrastructure involves the excavation of the metals and other minerals, which include
- Graphite, cobalt, and lithium used in the formation of the storage battery
- Titanium and Zinc are used in the development of Geothermal and wind energy.
- Aluminum, Nickle, and copper are for the making of different sources of renewable energy.
The World Bank estimates increasing the production of the above minerals by more than 500 percent by December 2050. According to World Bank estimates, more than 3 billion tons of metals and minerals demand to construct solar, wind, and geothermal power, including the energy storage facilities needed to reduce global warming less than 2 degrees centigrade this century.
However, mining of the said minerals can destroy species and the environment. Mining destroys the surrounding environment and natural habitats by developing transport infrastructures such as railway and roads.
According to the mapping, we found the potential regions affected by mining. Our area of analysis involved 62,381 operational closed mines and pre-operational with 40 different types of material. The research found that mining will affect more than 50 million kilometers of the earth’s surface, which excludes 37 percent of Antarctica.