EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SELF-CONSUMPTION OF ELECTRICITY
Certainly on more than one occasion –or even two– you have heard people talking about how high their electric bill was. Perhaps you‘ve also heard or read about self-consumption of electricity and you‘ve wondered what it‘s all about, haven‘t you? At AYMA, we have recently written about energy transition in buildings and so we thought that it would be a good idea to tell you everything you need to know about self-consumption of electricity.
What is self-consumption of electricity?
In Spain, the majority of households get their energy from Red Eléctrica de España. In other words, a private company that injects energy through high-tension cables for it to be distributed and commercialized by other entities. For all of this, citizens have to pay a fee according to the service provided. However, there is another option, which is called self-consumption of electricity.
What is this system all about? It is completely legal and it is when users themselves produce their own energy to be consumed from renewable energy sources. That means the users themselves control the whole process. It‘s a method that is both efficient and respectful towards the environment. To give an idea, according to the International Institute of Law and the Environment, renewable energy accounts for 40 percent of the total national energy supplied.
Types of electricity self-consumption
Among the most common systems for self-consumption of electricity, we have two types that require an investment. On the one hand, photovoltaic panels. On the other, mini wind turbines.
This is the most popular option. It‘s a system of panels equipped with materials that capture the sun‘s radiation and then use it to generate electricity. Through an inverter that regulates the output voltage and batteries that accumulate energy, a photovoltaic system can provide a large part of the energy demand of a household.
Mini wind turbines
This system looks like those giant white wind mills –with the permission of Don Quijote– that you have seen, although in a mini version. It‘s a small system of wind energy production at a domestic level. Out of the Spanish energy mix, wind is the renewable energy with the strongest presence. However, it has one problem, which is that it has not yet been optimized for self-consumption as much as photovoltaic systems have.
Alright, so with self-consumption systems I can disconnect from the electric network of private companies, right? Not exactly. Self-consumption doesn‘t imply disconnecting from the network, but it prioritizes the consumption of this type of energy that we produce ourselves. When solar panels are being used, electric consumption reduces significantly.
A vivid example would be making pasta with tomato sauce. Instead of buying tomatoes, you plant them in a garden and grow them. You wouldn‘t have to pay for them, but you would still have to pay for the rest of the ingredients in the recipe. You would pay less overall.
A tax on the sun
Not everything regarding self-consumption has been good news. Photovoltaic self-consumption in Spain has been through complicated times. In 2015 there was what was known as the tax on the sun. In other words, a surcharge for solar self-consumption if you remained connected to the electric network. In the abovementioned example, even though you‘ve grown your own tomatoes, you still have to pay for them.
This tax decreased the profitability of solar devices, causing consumers to stop using them. In 2018, a new government repealed the tax on the sun and self-consumption was reborn, opening up new possibilities for installing panels without additional costs.
In addition to this, in April of 2019 The Spanish government approved a Royal Decree to drive self-consumption of electricity (with renewable energy) in Spain, which resulted in considerable reductions in electric bills, with savings on up to a third of each bill.
This more simplified mechanism allows electric companies to compensate those who practice self-consumption, and the excess renewable energy they generate that is not used in their offices or homes is deducted from their bills.
AGENDA 2030, THE AGENDA OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The world’s population, generally speaking, is better off than a decade ago. However, advances to guarantee that the benefits of developments as basic as food safety will reach all human beings on the planet by 2030 are not fast enough and require urgent action. For this reason, in 2015 the UN adopted Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development based on 17 goals. Since January 1, 2016, the efforts of the nations of the world are required in order to achieve a sustainable world.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and seek to add to their successes, as well as achieve those goals that weren’t reached. These new goals have a singularity in that they urge all nations–whether they are wealthy, poor or middle-income– to adopt measures to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that the initiatives to put an end to poverty must go hand in hand with strategies that favor economic growth and take on a series of social needs, such as education, health, social protection and employment opportunities, which at the same time fight against climate change and promote environmental protection.
Despite the fact that the SDGs are not legally required, it is hoped that governments adopt them as their own and establish national frameworks for their achievement. Nations have the primary responsibility of monitoring and reviewing progress achieved in the fulfilling of these objectives, which is why it is necessary to collect reliable, accessible and appropriate data. Regional monitoring and review processes will be based on analyses carried out at the national level and will contribute to the monitoring and review at the global level.
17 goals to transform the world
The Sustainable Development Goals are the master plan to achieve a sustainable future for everyone. They are interrelated and incorporate global challenges that we face on a daily basis, such as poverty, inequality, the climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. In order to leave no one behind, it is important for us to fulfill each of these goals by 2030.
GOAL 1: NO POVERTY.
GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER.
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION.
GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY.
GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION.
GOAL 7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY.
GOAL 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.
GOAL 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE.
GOAL 10: REDUCED INEQUALITY WITHIN AND AMONG NATIONS.
GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES.
GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION.
GOAL 13: ADOPT URGENT MEASURES TO ACT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS.
GOAL 14: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF OCEANS, SEAS AND MARINE RESOURCES.
GOAL 15: LIFE ON LAND.
GOAL 16: PROMOTE FAIR, PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES.
GOAL17: PARTNERSHIPS TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS.
PREVENTATIVE ACTION PLANNING
In our blog we’ve already written about occupational risk prevention, one of the services we offer at AYMA. Additionally, we’ve published a new website with the brand name AYMA CSR. Still don’t know who we are? The essential instruments for the management and application of a risk prevention plan, which can be carried out in programmed phases, are occupational risk evaluation and preventative action planning. The latter is what we’ll be discussing in this article. Want to join us?
What is preventative action planning?
It is a document in which you identify and plan preventative actions that must be applied to your company with the goal of eliminating, controlling and reducing risks identified in the Risk Assessment, showing an order of priorities according to their magnitude and the number of workers exposed to them.
You might not know this, but preventative action planning is an obligation for all companies and employers. This must be mandatory and must be apparent in the terms included in the risk assessment carried out in the initial phase. Although somewhat tedious, let’s look at some laws.
RD 39/97 Regulation for Prevention Services defines the execution of Preventative Action Planning, and the concept also is found in Art.16.2.b/ of Law 31/95 on Occupational Risk Prevention.
- b) If the results of the assessment provided in paragraph a) reveal hazardous conditions, the employer shall carry out the necessary preventative actions to eliminate or reduce and control such risks. Said actions shall be the subject of planning by the employer, including for each preventative action the time frame for it to be carried out, the designation of appointed authority and human resources and necessary materials for its execution.
The employer must ensure effective execution of the preventative actions included in the planning, and continually monitor them.
Preventative actions must be modified when the employer sees, as a consequence of periodic monitoring provided in paragraph a) above, their inadequacy for the purposes of the required protection.
Article 8: The need for planning
When the result of the assessment presents hazardous situations, the employer shall plan preventative actions that have the objective of eliminating or controlling and reducing said hazards, according to the order of priorities in relation to their magnitude and number of workers exposed to them. In the planning of this preventative action, the existence, if applicable, of legal provisions related to specific risks shall be taken into consideration, as well as the principles of preventative action mentioned in article 15 of the Law on Occupational Risk Prevention.
All companies must fulfill some preventative actions continually that are integrated into planning. Actions like health surveillance of workers, revision of first aid kits, emergency measures, etc. Moreover, in the planning you must include the necessary human and material means, as well as assign the necessary economic resources for the achievement of the proposed objectives.
In addition, all preventative action planning must contain two types of activities:
Training activities (Training Plan), of Health Surveillance (Specific Medical Examinations Plan), Planning for job equipment maintenance or Measurements that are necessary to carry out in the company.
Activities that allow for the improvement of specific risks and that, once solved, will reduce or eliminate the existence of risks. Specifically, those detected in the Risk Assessment process.
What’s do you think about the article? If you’d like to know more about corporate social responsibility, remember that AYMA RSC has a dedicated team of experts at your service.
OCCUPATIONAL RISK PREVENTION, A SERVICE AT AYMA
You already know who we are. At AYMA we offer a wide range of services that distinguish leaders in the fields of mining, construction, professional training, corporate social responsibility and even the audiovisual industry. But there’s much more. Have we told you before about occupational risk prevention? Well, now the time has come. Let’s get a deeper look into this discipline so you don’t miss a single detail.
At AYMA we have an extensive professional background and along the way, we have acquired competencies that have allowed us to advance beyond the mining sector. Lean manufacturing programs, projects for basins for agricultural use and emergency plans and industrial projects are some of the fields in which we feel comfortable.
We don’t just take on anything that comes our way, but we advance towards new fields if we consider ourselves to be capable and if we make the ideal team for each new project. Here is where the area of risk prevention with Health and Safety research comes into play. Emergency plans and self-protection.
What is risk prevention?
First things first, let’s define occupational risk prevention. It’s a discipline that seeks to improve the health and safety of workers. To achieve this, an organization must take certain measures and develop the necessary activities to prevent risks derived from working conditions. The fundamental tool is risk assessment. An assessment developed by specialized technicians.
The frame of reference is Law 31/1995, of the 8th of November of 1995, of Occupational Risk Prevention. Occupational risk is understood as any possibility that a worker could suffer harm that is considered to be derived from the job being carried out. In other words, illnesses, pathologies or wounds which come as a consequence of a specific job.
Obligations of business owners
Turning to the Department of Labor, Migration and Social Security, we can determine the obligations that a business has, including public administration. The most important thing is to protect workers against risks in the workplace, guaranteeing health and safety in all aspects. How can this be done? Through the implementation of preventative action in the company. In this way, measures can be taken that integrate the general obligation of prevention in accordance with the following general principles:
- Avoid risks.
- Evaluate risks that cannot be avoided.
- Combat risks at their origin.
- Adapt the job to the person, especially when considering job positions, as well as team formation and working and production methods, with special attention to minimizing the number of monotonous and repetitive tasks and reducing the effect these tasks have on people’s health.
- Take the evolution of technique into account.
- Substitute anything that could be dangerous for things that pose little or no danger.
- Prevention planning, search for a coherent set of rules that integrate technique, the organization of tasks, working conditions, social relations and the influence of environmental factors at work.
- Adopt measures that give priority to collective protection over individual.
- Give necessary instructions to workers.
- Risk prevention in the workplace should be integrated into the general system of company management, both in its activities as well as in all levels of hierarchy, through the implementation and application of a risk management plan.
The essential instruments for the management and application of a risk management plan, which can be carried out in programmed phases, are the assessment of occupational risks and the planning of prevention action.
Would you like to know more about our occupational risk prevention services? Don’t hesitate to contact our specialists. Remember that with the best professionals, we form teams for each project, putting our most solid knowledge of each area at our clients’ service. All of our leading consultants have over 15 years of experience.
EXPLOSIONS IN FILMMAKING
A silence. A look. A tear. A smile. A soundtrack. What do you feel when enjoying all these elements in a film? Many different elements in a film have an impact on us, and one of our favorites is explosions. Did you know that at AYMA we have worked with producers and top film production companies in areas of explosives, pyrotechnics and use of weapons in filmmaking? Start making some popcorn, because you are about to hear some interesting facts about explosions in films.
Are explosions in films real?
For obvious reasons, it is complicated, if not impossible, to actually blow up an entire city. For these types of explosions, special effects are used most of the time. However, in many other cases real explosions are produced, using different tricks to control them.
These real explosions are usually made on a stage or with scale models, using various techniques. One of the most common is to perform small pyrotechnic effects with firecrackers or smoke bombs close to the film set. It’s true that these explosions aren’t normally as spectacular as they appear on the big screen, but they do serve their purpose in achieving the right effect. Creating various small and controlled explosions can make them look bigger and longer-lasting. Another trick is to film in slow motion from different angles and alternate these shots with other images of the actors.
Largest explosion in the history of filmmaking
As we know now that, indeed, many of the explosions we see in the cinema are real, let’s talk about one that is very special. Which one is that? It’s the one from the James Bond film, Spectre, a Hollywood blockbuster that was listed in the Guinness World Records because of its spectacular explosion, the biggest in filmmaking history.
Chris Corbould was the special effects supervisor. 8,418 liters of petrol and 33 kilos de explosives were needed to carry out the explosion. More than enough material to pull off this spectacular stunt, for which this film will always be remembered.
The best explosions in filmmaking
Well, we have to say that we aren’t very much in favor of classifications. But while we’re at it –after seeing the largest– we are going to choose some of the best explosions in filmmaking. Ready?
- Jaws (1975). An absolute classic. This Steven Spielberg film’s final scene is when the shark is blown up.
- Star Wars (1977). Who doesn’t remember when the Death Star was destroyed thanks to the skillful Luke Skywalker?
- The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale played one of the best roles of Batman in history, but the protagonist in this film is Heath Ledger –who played the Joker– when he blows up a hospital.
- Armageddon (1998). Let’s go back in time to see how they blow up an asteroid that is threatening to destroy the Earth. Bruce Willis and company save humanity.
- Fight Club (1990). The brutal explosion at the end of this film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton will go down as one of the best in the history of filmmaking.
If you have read all of this, now all you need to do is get another bowl of popcorn and watch some of these films. It’s all about explosions! And remember that at AYMA we offer an integral service that covers authorizations and administrative procedures that are necessary for the use of explosives in films.
AYMA, IN THE TRADE FAIR ALUMNI ENTREOLIVOS-TABLADILLA
Businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurs came together in theI Trade Fair Alumni Entreolivos – Tabladilla, which took place at the end of April. Alumni and family members of educational centers in Seville created this initiative, which brought together more than 80 companies.
The first edition of the Fair was organized by the associations of alumni of both schools. Different business sectors were brought together at the event, which was reflected in its wide range of activities. It was an innovative meeting and the first developed in Seville –at Tabladilla facilities–, to reunite alumni with the objective of visualizing their entrepreneurship.
AYMA Mining Solutions was present at this business event with its charming stand exhibiting its services and those of its clients, among which were SAER Seal of Corporate Social Responsibility and the exclusive bicycles of TBK Bike.
The objective of this fair, according to its organizers, was «to promote entrepreneurial values among current students and parents of the schools, to encourage business synergy and collaboration and to promote these businesses among alumni and family members».
AYMA, MUCH MORE THAN MINING CONSULTANTS
From the mines we come, and to the world we go! Although AYMA was founded as a consulting firm specializing in mining, we can’t help doing what our slogan proclaims.
Yes, we push you beyond your limits and we also push ourselves beyond our own.
That’s why through the years we have been continually overcoming challenges, learning and diversifying of our services, specialized areas and even our company philosophy. In order to grow to your fullest potential, it is fundamental to grow in spirit as well.
Two of the most significant steps made in these areas in recent months have been our taking on projects in construction, which we discussed in a previous blog entry, and in corporate social responsibility. This is Ayma’s commitment.
Our first step was the creation of a label for wood companies, TBK Bike. With this, we began our journey starting EVENCOS –events committed to sustainability– through the Business Association of Seville. Since then, we have sought to set an example for other companies we work with to convert them into “insignia clients”, in other words, converting them into active players.
As Bárbara Gómez Delgado, director of AYMA confirms, “the label will be focused on small and medium-sized enterprises for the moment, to fine tune processes before presenting it to mining companies”. Among the actions to develop synergies with other companies that the director is considering is attending different types of fairs “in order to mutually help each other to make our work visible”, concludes Gomez Delgado.
On our path to sustainability and company policies that are better for the environment and for workers, we want the maximum number of companies to join us as possible.
MIREU, THE NETWORK OF MINING REGIONS ACROSS EUROPE
The European Union is the number one consumer in the world of raw materials and metallurgies today, and the demand is expected to continue to increase in the future. Because of this, MIREU, the EU project that seeks to improve the supply of raw materials within its territory, has become necessary.
The MIREU project began in January of 2018 with the aim of “establishing a network of mining and metallurgy regions across Europe that will help the regions to improve the conditions for sustainable access and supply of raw materials to the EU”, as the project team explain, along with the Regional Government of Andalusia, whose Department of Employment, Industry and Commerce is participating in this initiative. It will help facilitate the sharing of knowledge among all interested parties within the regions, such as government agencies, political and administrative bodies, development agencies, mining companies, non-governmental organizations, research centers, innovation and development, the educational and technical training system and the financial system, as well as society in general.
The idea is to advance together through shared knowledge, which includes geographical and economic characteristics specific to each region, their cultural and language diversities and historical developments. The network will also learn from the experience of other regions of the world.
The project’s kick-off meeting took place at the Geological Survey of Finlandheadquarters in Espoo, and was attended by the General Directorate of Industries, Energy and Mines. During the meeting, they “addressed the start of different work packages related to the interested agencies and parties of mining in Andalusia, the social acceptance of mining activity, education, training and diffusion of mining values and the Social License to Operate necessary for adequate implementation of an activity”, as explained in the letter, which describes the MIREU project as “an opportunity for those who play a role in mining activity in Andalusia, coordinated by the Mining Administration, to create a network where they can stay in contact and communicate and can serve as an exchange platform for sharing good practices or overcoming difficult barriers for business activities”.
DILUTION, AN UNPREDICTABLE FACTOR
In the mining sector, dilution is defined as “all external material with grades lower than the cut-off grade that is inevitably mined with the extracted mineral.” In other words, it is the amount of waste material or below cut-off grade material that is mixed with the mineral during the stages of mining.
Dilution poses a major challenge in the fundamental steps of a mining project: planning. Even though many factors are predictable and are quantified and analyzed for planning before beginning the mining process, we are still inevitably faced with uncertainties only resolved after doing the job. Among them is the case we currently have at hand.
Despite the uncertainties, a rough estimate of waste material in the extracted mineral is necessary. According to the articleby Adén Muñoz, mining supervisor of AYMA Mining Solutions, and Benjamín Cebrián, of Blast-Consult, “it is our responsibility to design, control and to measure the dilution that results in what we do and how we operate”. In other words, the dilution present in minerals is a determining factor for mining operations and extracting processes.
On the other hand, there are various types of dilution that require different design and control processes. According to the abovementioned article, geological dilution“is produced by inaccuracies in the delineation stages of the resource model –waste contact– mineral, mineral transitions, etc. Geological dilution could comprise up to a third of total dilution”. Internal dilution“cannot be separated due to its size and can occur in situations where the mining method dictates a minimum width of extraction –in this sense, internal dilution can be planned; either in relation to the size of the block of the model –internal dilution to the block”. Lastly, external dilution “is unplanned and refers to waste material outside the mineral that is mined with the mining block. External dilution can be caused by production errors or from the falling of materials due to planar instabilities or contamination from backfill”.
Dilution, however, beyond the three general categories, is subdivided in more variants that depend on factors like the type of mineral, whether the mine is underground or open-pit, etc., all of which need different measuring, planning and calculating according to the elements that intervene. Apart from the inherent dynamism of dilution, the people in the team, their experience and extraction processes make it possible for each case to have its own equation. One-of-a-kind. Like that small percentage of difference in DNA that makes each person unique.
FILM PRODUCERS – NEED TO BLOW SOMETHING UP?
I´m sure you have seen hundreds of movie scenes where cars, buildings, and even boats are blown up. It is without a doubt one of the parts of film production with the highest risks involved. Without safety measures, permits, materials, and correct usage of explosives, this job could become a nightmare.
Have you ever wondered how explosives are used in movies?
We hadn´t given it much thought either. We know all about using explosives specifically for our field of work: mining. But one day, the seventh art knocked at our door and there was our director, Bárbara Gomez Delgado, ready to take on the challenge.
From that moment, we have worked closely alongside producers and leading companies in the audiovisual industry, offering a complete service carrying out authorizations and administrative processes of each production related to explosives, pyrotechnics, use of weapons in filming, on-site filming, and of course, at mines. Sur-film, Babieka films, Nostromo Pictures and Twenty four Seven are some of the producers that have put their faith in our services in this area. I´m sure you remember some scenes from movies like Jason Bourne 5 (2015), The Promise (2015), Assassins Creed (2015), 1898: Our Last Men in the Philippines (2016), Han Solo (Star Wars, 2017), and many others where we´ve helped blow things up into the air.
What do you need in order to use pyrotechnics in films?
Well, you need someone who can handle a lot of paperwork and permits. The Directive 2013/29/CE is applied to any commercial pyrotechnic articles in the European Union market. Pyrotechnic articles that are to be used in theater productions are included in this directive, and it is “a pyrotechnic article designed for outdoor or indoor sets and stages, including film and TV productions, or for similar use”.
For fireworks, there are different categories that go from F1 to F4, depending their level of hazard. Those used in audiovisual productions are T1, which are “any non-firework pyrotechnic articles that are for stage use and are low hazard”, and T2 is for “any non-firework pyrotechnic articles that are for stage use and only to be used by persons with specialist knowledge”. The classification of the different fireworks and explosives makes their use require a series of procedures and paperwork, which AYMA has ended up specializing in with the passing of time, becoming the most trusted choice for the majority of film producers, both national and international, who film scenes in Spain.
The requirements to fulfill for each type of explosive and its use are established in the corresponding harmonized standard of application of the Directive 2013/29/UE, and in the case of films, the abovementioned T1 and T2.
AYMA takes care of processing permits, supply, supervision, usage, and storage. They make sure all regulations are fulfilled regarding explosives, for example, “it is not permitted to store more than 10 net kg (NEC) of pyrotechnic articles of categories F1, F2, F3, T1 and P1 in private residences” or “must be in possession of a license or certificate of expert”, which is required by the Official State Gazette. A long list of bureaucratic requirements needs to be fulfilled according to the classification of pyrotechnic articles to be used, and at AYMA, we are very familiar with them.
The regulations are extensive and complex; however, we have become a trusted brand when it comes to dealing with them. False modesty aside, very few mining companies have seen their work on the big screen.
ENERGY TRANSITION (2): THE TSUNAMI IS APPROACHING
In the last entry about the fascinating topic of the future of renewable energy, we discussed energy transition. But what do experts on the subject say? At the roundtable that took place at the XIV International Conference on Energy and Mineral Resources in Seville in 2018 –whose topic was energy transition and whose chairman wasFrancisco Silva Castañofrom Iberdrola España– a series of goals was established, along with a way to achieve them starting from our current situation and current use of renewable and non-renewable energies.
The goal´s deadline is the year 2050.
By then, energy transition will have had to reach total decarbonization, using only renewable resources. In Spain´s case, our high percentage of use of this type of energy source gives us a strong base for achieving this objective. However, in the past few years we have seen a degree of inertia in its evolution due to a lack of investment, and it has also been affected by the drought. Nevertheless, according to Silva Castaño, “through a strong energy-saving pact, our country still has time to achieve a genuine long-term energy reform that establishes the key points of this great transition towards decarbonization, in a way that is most favorable and least costly for consumers and producers”. He also adds that “the technical, industrial, financial, economic, environmental, and societal implications to this ambitious and highly complex challenge are huge, and carrying out this reform correctly will depend on the well-being and progress of Europe as a whole throughout many decades”.
The necessary transition towards sustainability
To achieve these objectives, “charges not related to energy supply and that exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the system must be taken off the electricity bill in order to reduce final costs for consumers”, in addition to other aspects. The Spanish electricity system has the advantage of being “one of the least consolidated and oligopolistic in Europe”, where the costs of decarbonization are shared with other energy industries, such as oil and natural gas. When facing problems that arise, we still find obstacles that include legal, regulatory, and retributive uncertainties in the electricity system, which makes it difficult to calculate its exact economic impact.
Moreover, the transition to a clean and competitive energy system poses a series of challenges, such as achieving a viable and careful plan for the investment in renewable energy, develop a payment mechanism with a capacity to pay back firm and flexible power availability, nuclear power generation that is free of emissions and that guarantees security of supply, adapt the distribution networks to this new context and, of course, clean up electricity bills and distribute renewable energy financing to all energy systems.
It seems the majority of the responsibility of energy transition falls upon the energy sector, but it´s not the only one to whom it applies. The energy sector as a whole –including oil and natural gas–, the whole Spanish industry, economy and society as a consumer must take on this challenge. The consequences of not doing so are made clear by the representative from Iberdrola: “If we correctly take advantage of this energy tsunami that is heading our way, Spain will make a giant leap towards progress in all fields. If we aren´t capable of adapting, the shock will be both brutal and destructive for several generations to come”.
GEOTHERMAL, THE FUTURE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY?
Whether we can sustain our way of life, especially with regard to technology, will depend on if we are able to develop and implement the use of renewable energy into our daily lives, from industrial processes to electricity at home. The use of renewable energy is the future, which is why it is the main topic to be addressed in April at the XIV International Conference on Energy and Mineral Resources, in which AYMA is a top-level participant.
In fact, this year´s theme is Sustaining the future.
Basically, geothermal energy is what causes geysers and many volcanic eruptions. It is a type of energy with an incredible potential that respects the environment and one that is, most importantly, renewable.
In addition to renewable energies, the conference will present a subtopic to emphasize geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is obtained using the natural heat produced by the earth´s core that reaches the outer layers of rock through the conduction and convection of rock and fluids. This energy is considered clean and highly efficient. In Spain, geothermal energy is something that still must be addressed, whereas in other countries it has been implemented and well-known for a long time, mainly in Finland, the United States, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and of course, in the country where its use was first pioneered, Sweden, where it was the solution for the oil crisis of 1979.
Nevertheless, even though we have a long way to go in our country, energy projects that focus on this type of energy are already underway. Such is the case for the stationPacífico in the Metro de Madrid, the first in the entire underground system that is capable of generating its own energy for air conditioning through a geothermal system.
This could allow them to save energy by up to 75 percent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by one half.
Achieving the use of this energy will open a new path that will benefit everyone and will create new trends in the design of facilities that need an energy supply. Certain problems arise when it comes to the implementation of geothermal energy since it also has its disadvantages, especially concerning extraction processes. Such disadvantages include thermal contamination, the deterioration of landscapes, or the fact that it is only found in certain areas and it cannot be transported. These aspects will be addressed in what is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting presentations at the conference.
The goal of mining at the moment. Changing its look. Eradicate attributes of contamination, destruction of land and the environment, etc. AYMA, as a modern consulting firm and advocate of 21st-century mining, is committed to its values, making sure they are always present in each operation entrusted to us.
It is a matter of ethics. The Earth is capable of providing us with so much, and engaging in an aggressive raid is not necessary. Our appreciation for everything the planet has to offer is implicit in the way we work.
We´d like to show you some examples of responsible mining in which AYMA has taken part, whether in plan designing, consulting, optimizing working relationships, dealing with land benefits, or ensuring the safety of workers.
We collaborate in many ways with this mining company regarding operations design for the rehabilitation of the Aguas Teñidas Mine. On the one hand, there is a social commitment in which they seek to carry out “programs that produce value and well-being for society” in which “health and safety, the environment, education, and culture are just some of the commitments”. It is currently the company that generates the most employment and wealth in the region.
On the other hand, MATSA implements its environmental commitments through its Environmental Department, carrying out rigorous controlling and monitoring of the consumption of raw materials and natural resources, and preserving the assets of the region. In addition, they offer training courses and environmental awareness. In 2011, MATSA was awarded Business of the Year, by the Onubense Federation of Employers (FOE), in the category of Environment, Energy Conservation, and Use of New Technologies.
Lastly, under the motto “a safe mining operation is a productive one” policies on health and safety of employees is the main internal objective of the company.
Cobre Las Cruces
Seville´s Cobre las Cruces Mine has created its slogan, “21st Century Mining”, which means the exact goal it wants to achieve. It is a clear intention of the company to unite in the commitment of social and environmental responsibility. In fact, it is part of their short-term objectives to become a “leader in 21st-century mining operations”.
Las Cruces has been operating since June of 2009, the year in which mining activity restarted in the area, demonstrating that through good planning, for which they counted on AYMA, it is possible to achieve “optimal production of top-quality copper, in a safe and sustainable way”. Our work with the company was to maximize profits while maintaining these values intact.
AYMA was also a part of this project, which strongly emphasized awareness with respect to the environment and exercising social responsibility.
Under the slogan “promoting the future of clean energy in Europe”, the company´s Project Salamanca gained backing from the European Union. It not only improved the region´s economy by generating 450 direct jobs and some 2.000 indirect, for those that also offered training courses through those that the city could provide the sector in a qualified way, but it also demonstrated concern and care for nature and the environment through the planting of 30.000 oak trees.
At AYMA Mining Solutions, we are highly conciencious, just as mining companies are, of the vital importance of being more of an ally to the environment than just to exploit its resources. This is why our commitment to promote and foster the idea of 21st-century mining in order to achieve a better future for everyone is always integrated in our designs and operations. We are perfectionists. In order to achieve the best, good results and benefits must be in line with caring for the planet. Efficiency means creating a plan that doesn´t have a single negative aspect. In this way, we can change the image of mining. This is how we help to change the future of our planet.
AYMA JOINS TORO MINING CONSULTANTS
AYMA becomes part of TORO Mining Consultants, a strategic association of various companies that specialize in mining to provide comprehensive services to the Latin American industry.
Toro Mining Consultants was created by the strategic union of five highly-qualified consulting firms and leaders in their respective sectors, to provide mining services in Latin America. Our objective is to surpass their expectations as a client and to add value to their business.