The CSIRO will lead an $87 million research initiative which aims to cut the cost of solar thermal power from 25 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, the Federal government announced today.
The agency is partnering with six Australian universities, the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Arizona State University to “create solar technology to supply cheap, zero emission, secure energy for Australia and the world.”
Solar thermal power uses mirrors to concentrate sunshine to generate heat, which then powers a turbine to create electricity or solar derived fuel. CSIRO’s solar thermal tower at Newcastle is an example of the technology.
“The Australian Solar Institute and Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s $35 million contribution made the initiative possible and ensures Australia remains at the leading edge of global solar research,” the CSIRO said in a statement.
Participating universities include The Australian National University, University of Queensland, The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Flinders University.
A CSIRO-led solar energy collaboration between Australia and the US also announced projects worth more than $14 million including the creation of a $7.6 million solar forecasting system.
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