Under the plan, Australia’s ageing fleet of dirty coal and gas power stations, would be replaced with a nationwide integrated power grid supplied by Concentrating Solar Thermal ‘power tower’ technology over 12 sites and 23 wind turbine generation sites.
The plan is based on proven, off-the-shelf technology that’s in use somewhere in the world right now, even down to the model numbers of the wind turbines.
Helpfully the plan puts to rest a few long-standing myths that have, perhaps, been hindering action in the renewable energy sphere.
Myth – renewable generation cannot provide baseload power.
Currently available Concentrating Solar Thermal technology with molten salt storage provides baseload power more reliably than coal fired baseload stations and with greater flexibility. Back up, for the very few times that the entire southern half of the Australian continent is both becalmed and under cloudy skies will come from crop residue burning biomass generators at the solar sites and our currently existing hydro generators.
Myth – renewable generation will never keep pace with projected power demand.
This plan will cut our overall energy use by 50% using efficient technologies in areas like transport, freight and heating where the efficient technologies will replace direct fossil fuel use with electricity. By 2020 under the BZE plan, overall electricity generation will increase by 42% which is well above ‘business as usual’ projections.
Myth – sustainability costs jobs.
The BZE plan will create 80,000 new jobs at the peak manufacturing and installation phase and 45,000 permanent new jobs once the system is up and running.
Myth – green power is too expensive.
The plan will cost the princely sum of $8 per household per week.