Yesterday, we brought you a roundup of how geothermal and bioenergy are helping populate the bustling world of alternative energy sources. Today Crikey continues this exploration with the help of the Climate Council and climate solutions analyst Petra Stock to see what else is going on in Australia beyond the obvious sources of solar and hydro.
Solar thermal plants
How does it work: Plants vary according to resource and technology, but involve concentrating sunlight, generally off mirrors, to heat a substance, either liquid or salt, that can then be used to power steam turbines.
Australian status: We only have one operating plant, currently in conjunction with the Liddell coal-powered station in New South Wales, after CS Energy pulled the plug on a 44MW “solar booster” to its coal-powered Kogan Creek, Queensland power station in 2016. Both of these are set to be completely outshone (!) by SolarReserve’s recently announced plant in Port Augusta, South Australia. Announced in August last year, the project will offer 150MW of dispatchable solar power, supply 100% of the SA government’s energy needs from 2020, and -- barring approval for a $110 million federal loan -- will begin construction mid-2018.