SS7: Targets, indicators and benchmarks for resource use


Time: Tuesday, 13 October 2015 (8:00 – 9:50)

Location: Flüela

Session Chair: Heinz Böni, Empa, Switzerland

Session Chair: Dr. Xiaoyue Du, Empa, Switzerland



Renewable Energy (RE) for the Mining Industry: Case Studies, Trends and Developments, and Business Models

Kateryna Zharan

TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany

RE for the mining industry has perspectives for implementation and development. The European Union is concentrating on increasing the capacity of RE generation and consumption according to the Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from Renewable Energy Sources. The specific objective of this paper is to explore contributions to to the implementation of electrical energy supply from RE sources to the mining industry. Within this study the following aspects are dealt with. Firstly, a comparative analysis of levelized costs of electricity from RE sources and fossil one in European countries is presented. Secondly, an cost evaluation analysis of RE for transmission and distribution systems into the mining industry is considered. Thirdly, we investigate the technological possibilities for the penetration of RE into the mining industry. Finally, a guideline for the development of a business model for the implementation for European mining companies is created.


Resource Demand of Pathways towards Electric Mobility: Analyzing material demand, critical resources and emissions

Ole Soukup, Katrin Bienge, Michael Ritthoff, Peter Viebahn

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany

In 2009, the German Federal Government published its National Development Plan Electric Mobility. Therein, it highlights the strategic relevance of the electrification of motorized private transport. The Development Plan stresses the potential of electric drivetrains to reduce the dependency on crude oil as well as local emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollutants. Up to now, strategies that strive for the implementation of electric mobility in Germany and worldwide, mainly focus on the political goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependencies on fuel imports. However, within the scope of an environmental lifecycle assessment of vehicle technologies and possible development pathways, it is necessary to take into account further ecological criteria. The resource demand in the focus of this paper is regarded as one of these additional criteria. On the one hand, the quantification of the resource demand of vehicle technologies along transport scenarios can be regarded as a general environmental impact indicator: The higher the amount of raw material extraction from the ecosphere, the higher the expected environmental impact. On the other hand, it gives insight into the demand development of certain “critical” resources that might affect their long-term security of supply (long-term availability of the raw materials, supply situation, recyclability and the environmental conditions governing their extraction). Based on the combined methods of Material Intensity Analysis and scenario analysis this paper presents comprehensive research concerning the aforementioned aspects of resource demand. The paper presents the cumulative demand for material and energy resources as well as greenhouse gas emissions caused by different electric mobility strategies for private motorized transport up to the year 2050. The results are compared to a reference development solely based on conventional combustion vehicles. The cumulative material demand serves as a basis to identify critical materials relevant for the entire lifecycle of passenger cars.


Responsible and sustainable mineral production – what does it mean?

Karen Hanghøj, Per Kalvig

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Denmark

All societies depend on mineral resources, but in the western world there is a disproportionate relationship between consumption and production. For example, the European Union consumes 20-30 % of all mineral resources produced globally, but produces only 3-4 %. Most of Europe’s mineral exploration and extraction takes place in northernmost Europe and Greenland, Regions that have in common that they are endowed with rich mineral resources have low population densities, arctic climates and fragile eco systems and societal structures. At the same time, responsible and sustainable development in the Arctic has never been higher on the global agenda. The Arctic is one of the remaining frontier regions and is seen as an area of significant potential for resources, including minerals, oil and gas, renewable energy and living resources. Land-use changes through mining, energy production and tourism, is likely to intensify in the future putting pressure on the Arctic environment. Climate change may bring additional challenges to the Arctic environment, but perhaps also brings new opportunities. The resistance to mining rests mainly on land-use management issues and a strong opposition to host mining in many communities. To promote sustainable raw materials production globally, society must take responsibility for consumption by ensuring that extraction is done in the best possible manner – and perhaps that is in our backyard. In that context, the northern and Arctic regions in general have a strong local support for developing extractive industries, although they also have unique vulnerabilities to mining. While mineral resources are non-renewable in the sense that once they are extracted they will not come back, we need to think about sustainability in different terms. A sustainable mineral production can be thought of as an industry that is technologically innovative, environmentally responsible, socially responsible, and economically sustainable in a long-term global perspective.


Cross-border electricity infrastructures and efficient use of renewable energy sources

Karolis Gudas

Swiss National Center of Competence in Research, Trade Regulation, Switzerland

Long-distance renewables’ integration projects emerge as feasible option for the decarbonization of the electricity sector and efficient use of resources. The paper provides an overview of the large-scale cross-border projects being implemented in the electricity sector, which among their objectives aim at integrating renewable energy sources. It reviews the role of multilateral regimes in the development of cross-border transmission links, outlines the challenges, and makes policy recommendations for regulatory developments in the international system.


Integrating anthropogenic material stocks and flows into modern resource classification frameworks

Andrea Winterstetter1, David Laner1,2, Helmut Rechberger2, Johann Fellner1

1Christian Doppler Laboratory for Anthropogenic Resources, Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13/226, 1040 Vienna, Austria; 2Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13/226, 1040 Vienna, Austria

This study investigates how anthropogenic resources could fit into the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC-2009). Compared to geogenic resources, anthropogenic deposits are more heterogeneous and often more decentralized. Further, the human impact on production, consumption and disposal, combined with significantly shorter time spans of renewal are major differences. Factors influencing the classification of anthropogenic material deposits include various aspects such as technological developments, market prices, laws, and ecological and social considerations. They can be systemized according to their role during the individual phases of resource classification, namely prospection, exploration and evaluation. The prospection phase is determined by 1) the deposit’s status of availability for mining, discriminating between “in-use stocks”, “obsolete stocks” and “waste flows”, 2) by the specific condition of handling and potential mining (push vs. pull situation), and 3) the system variables, which determine the potentially extractable amount of materials. System variables (e.g. technological options) also play a major role during the exploration phase and can potentially be varied in a scenario analysis. For the socioeconomic evaluation modifying factors with direct impact on the project’s economics are investigated. The influencing factors of mining anthropogenic resources from 1) an old landfill, 2) waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and 3) wind turbines are analyzed. To map such different types of anthropogenic materials within the three UNFC-2009 axes “knowledge on composition”, “field project status and technical feasibility” and “socioeconomic viability”, specific guidelines are still to be defined and need to be demonstrated via case studies. Ultimately, this will allow for a meaningful comparison of anthropogenic with geogenic mineral resources, promoting efficient resource use.


Socio-metabolic graphs and socio-metabolic tables: tools for the design of policies for circular economic systems

Stefan Pauliuk

University of Freiburg, Germany

The transition to a more sustainable metabolism of modern societies will entail repercussions in the entire system, including energy supply and the material, food, and water cycles. Under a strong regulatory or incentive-driven regime towards a circular economy, individual industrial and end-use sectors need to be seen as part of a larger system; they cannot develop in isolation or be considered as driven by final demand only. Scientific analysis of society’s biophysical basis increases our understanding of the coupling and feedback mechanisms in the system, and researchers can use these insights to assist policy makers and to inform the general public. One step towards better interaction between research on socioeconomic metabolism and those groups who could utilize scientific insight is to visualize the linkages between the different elements and layers of socioeconomic metabolism based on existing quantitative information. Powerful visualization complements accounting frameworks and quantitative methods like material flow analysis and input-output analysis. First, I present the state of the art of visualizing society’s biophysical basis and identify shortcomings. I then present a graphical representation of flows and stocks in society’s metabolism that incorporates information from the material and energy layers, and can be readily extended to the water and emissions layer. Each graph is equivalent to an accounting table, which establishes a formal link and compatibility between common accounting frameworks and the graphical approach. Here, I present the principle and during the conference, I show first examples of the new graphical approach to understanding society’s biophysical basis.