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Posted: Dec 15, 2012

Australia funds new solar research initiative with A$87 million

(Nanowerk News) The eight year collaboration will form the "Australian solar thermal research initiative", which aims to lower the cost of solar thermal power from 25 to around 10 cents a kilowatt hour.
The Australian Solar Institute and Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s A$35 million contribution made the initiative possible and ensures Australia remains at the leading edge of global solar research.
CSIRO will partner with six Australian universities and the United States’ Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories and Arizona State University with the goal of creating solar technology to supply cheap, zero emission, secure energy for Australia, and the world.
The sun rises over the solar tower and field at The National Solar Energy Centre
The sun rises over the solar tower and field at The National Solar Energy Centre.
The Australian Solar Institute and Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s A$35 million contribution made the initiative possible and ensures Australia remains at the leading edge of global solar research.
CSIRO will partner with six Australian universities and the United States’ Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories and Arizona State University with the goal of creating solar technology to supply cheap, zero emission, secure energy for Australia, and the world.
The Australian Solar Institute and Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s A$35 million contribution made the initiative possible and ensures Australia remains at the leading edge of global solar research.
CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship Director, Dr Alex Wonhas, said the funding provides CSIRO with the opportunity to work with the world’s best and fully develop solar thermal technology.
“A world-class collaboration of this scale ensures we are well on our way to lower the cost of solar thermal technology.
“Demonstrating the technology is vital, it is what attracts investment and development in the industry,” said Dr Wonhas.
CSIRO’s university partners for the solar thermal research initiative include The Australian National University, University of Queensland, The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Flinders University.
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.
Also announced today were the successful CSIRO-led United States-Australia solar energy collaboration solar projects worth over A$14 million, with the most significant being the creation of a A$7.6 million solar forecasting system.
Source: CSIRO
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