Can we halve the cost of solar thermal by 2020?


The new director of CSIRO’s Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI), Dr Blanco, has claimed that his research team can halve the cost of solar thermal in just seven years.

“We will reduce the cost of solar thermal to just 12 cents a kilowatt hour by 2020 and provide zero-emission energy to people when they need it. It’s a technological leap but we will do it. We are working with the best in the world,” said Dr Blanco.

Solar thermal technology uses mirrors that concentrate the heat of the sun onto a central point. This heat can then be used to power a turbine to create electricity. It can also be used to drive chemical reactions that can result in products such as fuel.

The Australian research centre ASTRI is an A$87 million, eight-year international collaboration that aims to transform the energy industry in Australia by bringing down the cost of solar thermal.


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