Climate change is the single greatest threat to Australia’s way of life. It’s mostly caused by pollution from three sources: transport, power (electricity) production, and food production.
However there is a ready solution to one of the causes, power production, responsible for roughly a third of climate change. This clean power solution is not being used due to a failure in market regulation and government; it’s called ’solar thermal’.
The technology is proven in Australia using Australian technology (at the Liddell power station in NSW, pictured), and there are two companies able to provide it (Solar Heat and Power and Wizard Power).
Most investment in these solar thermal power stations is overseas where they have operated for some 20 years. Spain, Portugal, China and the United States have or are building solar thermal power stations. Those countries have created markets that pay more money for clean power, so that’s where the stations are being built (1).
There is no technical reason stopping all our power being clean, from the sun. The reason solar thermal is not being used is due to market and red tape failures of governments.
Chris Harris’ plan is to remove the market failure and red tape. To do this, Chris is looking for investors from the public and the private sector to build the first solar thermal station to meet the needs of Sydney City (about 6 million MWh a year, or a 1 GW capacity power station) by 2010, and to demonstrate to governments, the public and the market that solar thermal power can provide base load power and should become the major source of power in Australia within the next ten years.
The source of the power for solar thermal power is the daily heat of the sun. Solar thermal technology cuts climate change because it does not use coal, a principal source of climate change pollution. Solar thermal can provide ‘base load” or daily power needs; with storage it also meets night time power needs.
The Greens Party has representatives at local, state and federal levels of government across Australia. By initiating these proposals and seeking support for them throughout the Greens Party Chris is able to affect polices at local, state and federal levels.
A short history of solar thermal power
Most of the world’s electricity comes from turbines driven by steam. The heat for that steam comes from coal, gas or nuclear power and in some places solar thermal. Solar thermal power stations can replace coal and nuclear simply by using the sun’s heat, and can continue to use the turbines and infrastructure which exist already. Read the rest of this entry »