Australia’s been a little short on good news stories concerning renewable energy over the last few years. But this week’s announcement from the South Australian government that Australia’s first solar thermal plant will be built in Port Augusta is a welcome ray of light.
Solar thermal plants capture solar energy and store it using molten salt so it can be released, as electricity, when needed. This one, to be called Aurora, will provide all of the state government’s energy needs. Not only is the Port Augusta plant an Australian first but, when completed, it will be the largest in the world! And it comes hot on the heels of the South Australian government’s July announcement that Tesla will build the world’s largest lithium ion battery in the state.
These world leading innovations in renewable energy generation and storage show that with ambition, policy certainty and support Australia can help lead the global transition to clean energy. They will help spur Australia’s technological and economic transition to a low-carbon energy system. And they will be tangible examples for the wider public of clean energy solutions in their own backyard. They represent exciting steps and long awaited signs of better things to come.