Australia needs to think big with solar energy29th Mar 2012
It is often said that size isn't everything, but when it comes to solar power systems, this might not be the case.
Australia doesn't just need solar panels, apparently we need them to be bigger - or at least that's the view of campaign group 100% Renewables.
There's no denying that Australia is a sunny country - some parts of our mostly arid regions get 11 sunlight hours a day - putting us in the perfect position for becoming a leader in solar.
However, when it comes to harnessing the sun's energy, Australia's report card currently says "could do better", so 100% Renewables has taken on the mission of making improvements.
So how can we be better at using solar power? The answer: build bigger plants.
Andrew Bray from the group believes solar has the potential to stand up to its biggest rival - coal-fired power stations - but only if Australia is willing to think big.
After all, we already boast the world's biggest cinema screen, longest stretch of straight rail track and largest rock, so why shouldn't solar follow suit?
He explained that the average coal-fired power station generates 750 to 1,000 megawatts, which is not beyond the realms of possibility for solar systems to match.
This means building a hell of a lot of solar panels - but where is the money coming from, I hear you ask?
The government is to invest $10 billion in a new Clean Energy Finance Corporation (which in layman's terms means cash will be made available for renewable energy and clean technology projects).
100% Renewable is hoping a slice of this multi-billion dollar pie will go towards building large-scale solar power systems that could ultimately benefit you and your finances.
Renewable energy sources might also help to lower your electricity bills if they are rolled out nationwide - and let's face it, we could all do with a few extra dollars to play with!
Posted by Bob Dawson