Amazing – the reports on building $1 billion, 250 megawatt solar-thermal power stations in Australia – with the first possibly operating by 2011.
WorleyParsons, a global engineering company and a service provider to the energy, resources and infrastructure sector, has a ‘big’ vision – 34 stations by 2020 and an agreed plan for funding from ‘big gun’ clients:
MD Peter Meurs said an initial study shows Australia is perfectly placed to produce solar-thermal power,
“We didn’t know when it would work and were quite surprised at how well it will work.”
The company says it has seen significant progress in the development of initiatives in its sustainability arm over 2008 and that solar-thermal power would be a key part of Australia achieving 20 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.
The Australian reports that:
“In rough terms, Australia has 30,000MW of installed power and another 4000MW is under construction, none of which has anything to do with brown coal.
In rough terms, a coal-fired plant produces energy at a cost of about $45 a megawatt hour, gas about $55 an hour and solar about $170 an hour…
These are rough figures but the points to note are that solar power is becoming cheaper fast.
It is tipped to shortly match wind power and both start to look like genuine starters when you throw in the cost of carbon at $20 a megawatt hour.”