Thursday, 13 December 2012
The University of Adelaide's Centre for Energy Technology is part of a major solar research initiative aimed at lowering the cost of solar thermal power, announced by the Australian Government today.
Led by CSIRO, the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative will be worth a total of over $87 million.
The eight-year collaboration aims to lower the cost of solar thermal power from 25 to around 10 cents a kilowatt hour.
Centre for Energy Technology Director Professor Gus Nathan said the Centre looked forward to making a significant contribution to the initiative.
"Not only is solar energy one of the key forms of renewable energy, it is also one of the fastest growing forms of energy technology, so offers significant opportunity for the industrial sector," Professor Nathan said.
"The Centre for Energy Technology is already working on the development of next generation solar energy systems, especially in novel hybrid systems and solar fuels.
"We welcome this opportunity to work with the CSIRO and other partners to keep Australia, and South Australia, at the forefront of solar research."
The Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative is supported by the Australian Solar Institute and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with a $35 million contribution. The initiative will also leverage significant US investment into the Australian concentrated solar power (CSP) industry, and mobilise the international CSP industry to invest in Australia.
CSIRO's Energy Transformed Flagship Director, Dr Alex Wonhas, said: "A world-class collaboration of this scale ensures we are well on our way to lower the cost of solar thermal technology."
The collaboration partners are CSIRO, University of Adelaide, the Australian National University, University of Queensland, University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Flinders University, as well as the United States' Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia Corporation and Arizona State University.
The University's Centre for Technology is also a partner in a project to develop 'Tools for design and scale-up of solar thermochemical reactors', with University of NSW and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.