R&D support recommended for solar thermal energy in Australia

Solar thermal energy continues to make steady progress in Australia.

It is being highlighted that solar thermal energy could provide 25 percent of Australia's power by 2050 if there is a commitment to build one solar power station a year.

According to www.canberratimes.com.au, the manager of CSIRO's renewable energy projects, Wes Stein, recently said, "One solar power station a year: that sort of scale would not scare them. This is technology that likes to be built big."

Stein said the sector needed more support for research and development. "There's plenty of work to be done. We need smarter solar collectors and clever optics to make more [and] better reflective surfaces. We also need to come up with some fairly fancy new materials that can handle hot-spot temperatures and we can still improve thermal efficiency."

He also stated that solar thermal energy could be collected, stored as synthetic natural gas and transported around the world, creating lucrative export markets for Australia.