Hal Quinn: Solar Energy Dependent on Minerals Supply in Arizona

Posted on August 07, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

This week, National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn was featured in the Camp Verde Bugle discussing the link between Arizona’s emerging solar energy industry and a stable supply of domestic minerals.

Quinn explains,

“Arizona is already a leader in renewable energy, with the largest capacity of solar energy of any state, and growth in this field could propel the state to a global ranking. However, access to federal lands isn’t the only thing Arizona needs to become the solar capital of the world. Access to domestic supplies of the mineral raw materials needed to manufacture solar cells could help shorten and simplify supply chains for companies like Kyocera and ensure continued production of the advanced energy technologies of the future. Arizona has vast reserves of copper and molybdenum, both of which are used in solar cells and wind turbines, but an inefficient federal permitting process for new mineral mines keeps ample resources locked underground and manufacturers sourcing materials elsewhere. While considering legislation to bolster renewable energy production, policymakers must also ensure reliable domestic supplies of minerals critical to these technologies.”

As renewable energy sources continue to play an important role in our energy mix, the demand for the minerals they are made from will also rise. With the establishment of an efficient domestic minerals policy, U.S. mining can lead the way to a more secure and innovative future. Like Quinn states, U.S. policymakers need to understand the link between renewable energy and critical minerals and see the importance of long-term development of minerals and metals reserves in states like Arizona.

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