Australian Clean Technologies Ideas Competition finalists announced21st Sep 2011
A number of promising renewable energy projects have been showcased in the federal government's Australian Clean Technologies Ideas Competition.
Innovation minister Kim Carr announced the 11 finalists on Monday (September 19) - which include a range of ideas covering areas such as solar power, green building practices and transport systems.
Carr says: "The competition is an initiative of the Gillard Labor government's Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chains program and part of our $50 million effort to support Australian industry at home and abroad."
The competition hopes to foster further development in technologies that may deliver the country's energy supply in the near future.
It also aims to create new opportunities for growth in the sector, as viable products will in turn help deliver jobs.
"More than 25,000 Australians are employed in our clean technology industries, which were worth $22 billion in 2010. The development of clean technology ideas such as those submitted to this competition will grow these industries, creating new jobs, new products and new markets," says Carr.
Amongst the finalists are a number of solar projects - including SolMax, a combination of rooftop solar panels with additional technology to create an efficient solar concentrator.
Cogen Microsystems have submitted an idea which uses solar thermal collectors and a heat engine in order to provide both electricity and hot water in the home.
Some of the projects also have industrial applications - one promises to be able to split water and provide a usable supply of hydrogen.
A number of the projects feature innovative combinations of renewable techniques, rather than simply improving on existing technologies.
The government has placed a strong emphasis on commercial viability, with finalists being put through a rigorous mentorship program to determine the potential market value for each product.
The competition forms part of the Gillard government's strategy to push Australia's energy future towards more sustainable and renewable practices.
Solar power, wind farms and geothermal technologies are constantly being improved upon in efficiency and cost, meaning that the nation's renewable energy future is closer than ever before.
Winners will be announced on October 6 2011, with first place being chosen to represent Australia on the world stage at the International Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition in the United States.
Posted by Mike Peacock - Solar Correspondent