Australia's potential for development of CSP gets reiterated

Dr Barrie Pittock, a lead author with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former head of CSIRO's climate impact group, has underlined the potential of deserts in generation of renewable energy to power Australia.

"If you look at a map of solar radiation reaching the Earth, then Australia is the continental area that has the greatest intensity of sunlight because we have the desert region," Dr Pittock said, according to The Age. "There is a huge potential. If you had all of the intensity of the sun over a 50-kilometre area, you could supply all of Australia's electricity."

For his part, Dr. Pittock will call for solar thermal power plants to be built near regional communities, particularly job-starved indigenous communities, to meet the Federal Government's 2020 target of 20 percent of energy coming from renewable sources.

In August this year, Australian engineering services company WorleyParsons Ltd indicated that the Pilbara region of Western Australia could be a location for a A$1 billion thermal solar power station. The company has launched a study, backed by the likes of BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Plc, to find potential sites for advanced solar thermal power plants in Australia. According to a proposal from Worley Parsons, there are plans to construct 34 of the 250-megawatt solar power stations in Australia by 2020. Nine groups are funding a study to examine the potential development of the power stations. The initial 250-megawatt unit could start up as early as 2011.

Peter Meurs, managing director of WorleyParsons' EcoNomics unit, then had said: "The desert-type conditions, almost no cloud cover and a large amount of solar radiation make a strong case for solar in Australia."