CSIRO will lead an Australian solar thermal research initiative, aiming to lower the cost of solar thermal power from 25 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour.
The initiative is worth over $87 million and will run over eight years. CSIRO will partner with six Australian universities and the United States’ Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia Corporation and Arizona State University in this collaboration.
The goal of the program is to create solar technology capable of supplying cheap, zero emission, secure energy.
The initiative was partially funded by $35 million in contributions from the Australian Solar Institute and Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship aims to use this initiative to fully develop solar thermal technology, not just to a demonstration stage, but through to viable commercialisation.
CSIRO’s will partner with The Australian National University, University of Queensland, The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Flinders University.
CSIRO is also participating in the United States-Australia Solar Energy Collaboration programs, being involved in a $7.6 million solar forecasting system.