Maintaining Energy Security

Mining powers America, from the fuels that feed our energy grid to the metals that carry power to our homes and businesses. Coal and minerals play a key role in every stage of energy delivery.

Americans expect reliable and affordable energy, powered by a diverse mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear power, oil and renewable sources. With more domestic reserves than any other country, coal remains a key partner in America’s energy future, reducing our reliance on foreign markets and providing us with secure and affordable energy. That energy picture also includes uranium, which is critical for the nuclear industry, and renewable energy from wind turbines and solar panels made from minerals like copper, aluminum, zinc, molybdenum and silver.

The development of a viable coal-to-liquid industry in the U.S. has the further potential to expand coal utilization beyond electricity generation to the transportation sector. Poly-generation plants can produce an even wider range of products. Advances in technology and more efficient combustion systems have enabled U.S. power plants to reduce their regulated emissions by more than 60 percent since 1970, while increasing electric power output over the same period by 140 percent. In fact, a coal-fueled power plant today emits 90 percent fewer emissions than the typical plant it replaces built in the 1970s. Ongoing advancements in high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technologies and carbon capture and storage (CCS) hold even more promise for the future.

Member Feature Story

Silver in Solar

When it comes to energy, we need every source available, including solar. And to make solar panels, we need silver. Silicon wafers coated in silver powder paste start the process for solar generation, and as electricity demand rises, so too will silver demand in photovoltaic technologies. Hecla Mining... Read More

Maintaining Energy Security

Working to Meet the Demand for Coal

In a time when natural gas prices are skyrocketing, coal provides the much-needed flexibility the U.S. grid needs to keep electricity prices affordable. Coal demand is currently high as the nation recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s not hard to understand why. Coal is plentiful,... Read More

Rare Earths in Energy

An abundance of minerals and metals go into advanced energy technologies, including rare earth metals. Applications include turbine magnets for wind power generation and solar cells. These metals (which are actually not that rare) are difficult to mine economically, and until recently have been mined... Read More

Reliability in Energy

Reliable energy is an absolute necessity in our time. But some forms of energy generation are more consistently available than others. Relying on fuel that must be carried in by pipeline or generated by cooperative weather can leave an electricity grid vulnerable, and that’s why having a varied fuel... Read More

The Metal Behind Wind Power

A strong electricity grid employs an all-of-the-above energy policy, which includes coal, nuclear and renewable sources of power, like wind. Major inputs to wind turbines are minerals and metals, such as copper. Wind turbine coil windings of the stator and generator, high-voltage power cable conductors,... Read More

Ur-Energy, Nuclear Energy to Rely On

Uranium is the basis for nuclear power, a clean, reliable baseload energy source. Nuclear power provides a high capacity of energy production, something that is an issue for intermittent sources of energy. As a baseload power, nuclear supplies energy precisely when it’s needed in a reliable way making a... Read More