New report: concentrating solar power could provide 30% of Australia’s electricity

A new report has found that concentrating solar power (CSP) could provide about 30% of Australia’s total current electricity generation capacity, if forecast cost reductions are achieved.

Realising the Potential of Concentrating Solar Power in Australia was commissioned by the Australian Solar Institute and authored by IT Power Australia. It predicts that 2 GW of solar thermal could be constructed by 2020, employing around 4000 people.

The report also finds that a further 13 GW of solar thermal energy could be deployed in the near to medium term. Currently, Australia’s total electricity generation capacity (from all sources) is 50 GW.

The authors outline four actions needed before CSP can achieve its potential in Australia. They involve:

  • technology-neutral rewards for clean energy systems that better correlate generation to real-time demand (i.e. that deliver power when it’s most needed)
  • better communication from the CSP sector about CSP’s benefits
  • the establishment of solar precincts, where solar data collection, grid connection costs, planning approvals and other requirements can  be shared between projects
  • continued public and industry investment in research, development and demonstration of projects that meet Australian needs.

RenewEconomy has an article on the report featuring comments from lead author Keith Lovegrove. You can read it here.

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