Calls to build solar future
Tom Driftwood said baseload electricity production from large-scale solar plants is not just possible but already happening - although bizarrely, not on the world's sunniest continent.
Tom and other members of the Lismore Climate Action Group donned hard hats and strapped on tool belts on Monday to launch Big Solar - a new campaign from 100% Renewable Energy designed to show the government that people are ready to build big solar.
They are calling on Page MP Janelle Saffin to get behind a new $10 billion fund for renewable energy - the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. They are waiting for a reply from her office.
Tom explained that in Spain and parts of the USA large scale solar panel 'farms' have been built along with concentrating solar thermal plants, where hundreds of mirrors channel sunlight into towers and the heat is stored in molten salt. He said the exciting thing about the 'power towers' was electricity could be produced around the clock.
"One of the key advantages is the 24-hour operation, whereas with panels when the sun goes down there's no more power," Tom said. "There are a lot of myths out there that need countering and one of them is that solar can't provide baseload power. This is not pie in the sky stuff. It works and is being done elsewhere around the world.
Tom said the federal government is committed to phasing out 2000 megawatts of coal-fired power by the end of 2012 and said the logical thing to do is replace it with solar rather than gas or coal. He said pressure from the constituency is the only way to get action on this.
"Big Solar is about holding our decision makers accountable to the will of Australia."
For more information visit www.100percent.org.au/content/lets-build-big-solar or to join the Lismore Climate Action Group phone Tom on 6689 6297.