Ballarat, Victoria launches drive for big solar energy
National campaign aims to shine spotlight on big solar. ABC Ballarat, By Margaret Burin, 26 March, 2012 Renewable energy advocates have begun a national campaign to promote large-scale solar power generation. About 50 groups around Australia are behind a campaign to push building large solar energy plants.
Supporters from Ballarat are the latest to launch the movement. Andrew Bray from the 100% Renewables group says large-scale solar energy is an underutilised resource in Australia. “We’re the sunniest country on Earth pretty much and we have no operating large-scale solar stations,” he says.
Mr Bray says large-scale solar power projects – which includes building solar towers and constructing panels in paddocks – are economically viable and can counter coal-fired power stations. “To give you some proportion, the normal coal-fired station is 750 to 1000 megawatts, and there’s no reason why solar power stations can’t scale up to that size.
“There’s a lot of know-how, lots and lots of know-how, in fact some of the major solar advances have come out of Australian universities and CSIRO, but industry needs to start putting out modest sized ones to learn how to do it and teach the financiers that the risks are quite modest.”
The Gillard Government has committed $10billion towards a new commercial fund, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Mr Bray says if parliament passes the legislation, it will help drive funding for big solar projects….
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