Advancing clean energy initiatives

20th Mar 2013

Australia is known for being a solar power hotspot – with our sunny and hot climate – but we're not the only ones making strides in the field of solar energy and there is still much room for innovation and advancement.

Last October in the U.S, President Barack Obama signed off the Solar Energy Zone initiative to approve large scale solar developments on public land in an efficient way and to restructure previously difficult and drawn out procedures.

Solar Energy Zones in the U.S include Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico.

As reported by Cleantechnica, the latest development in the initiative is the construction of the world's largest solar power towers.

Located in Riverside County, the 750 foot towers will be called the Palen Solar Electric Generating System, with two 250 MW units.

It's predicted the construction will create 2,000 jobs – and enough energy to power 200,000 homes!

Meanwhile, as the U.S continues to develop its clean energy programs, other nations require more development to get to that point – especially nations in the Asia Pacific area – which are huge markets but have not yet developed sufficient infrastructure.

Australia has initiatives similar to Solar Energy Zones, such as the Solar Cities program which has seen locations such as Adelaide and Alice Springs turn increasingly to renewable energy sources.

However, while Australia has made some waves in the renewable energy sector there is still work to be done.

Renewable Energy World suggests that countries like us, in order to achieve a higher level of innovation and progress, need to create an interconnected energy delivery network that integrates electricity power lines, natural gas pipelines and fibre optic cables to create a more efficient, demand responsive energy delivery system.

Conditions in Australia are ideal for developing clean technologies further – we are lucky to have plenty of sun and wind, and so we have suitable conditions for solar energy, wind and hydropower and natural gas.

One example of this is the Greenough River Solar Farm in the state of Western Australia. This generates 10 MW of power through photovoltaic (PV) technology and was Australia's first utility scale solar farm. Over 150, 000 film PV modules were used during the construction of the solar farm, showcasing the great potential for Australia's solar and renewable industries.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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