Australia’s Complementary Industries for the next Century: Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles and 3D Printing

Australia could place itself at the heart of the most important technology, intellectual property and service industries of the next century. This combination effect would provide a solid future for Australia domestically as well as placing it as a central provider for the global economy.

1. Renewable Energy

 

Still a developing field in 2015, it ceased being emerging technology by 2010. Strong investment in developing the practical technology in Australia would provide both the means to escape the energy trap as well as an example of how countries can navigate the change away from fossil fuel dependence into a new environment of distributed electricity generation and off-grid solutions.

Why Australia?

With Australia’s abundance of natural sources of energy, there is no excuse for the country to avoid its natural role in leading global development. In fact, Australian scientists have routinely been at the forefront of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, wave and tidal energy generation projects.

Why renewable energy?

Renewable energy generation is also the foundational change needed to shift the Australian economy away from its current reliance on fossil fuels. It is also the change needed to make electric vehicles a truly low carbon sustainable solution. Since

Australia Needs a Commercial Concentrated Solar Thermal with Storage Plant

The Beyond Zero Emissions Plan focuses on Solar Thermal with Storage as the core technology for Australia’s renewable energy future.[1] The primary reason for them is that this provides 24 hour dispatchable baseload power to the grid. This means that the power supply can be turned on or off and scaled very quickly to meet demands. In fact CSP power plants are far more flexible than equivalent coal, gas and nuclear plants which can take hours or days to change their power output.[2]

Australia has a long history demonstrating and working in the field of solar thermal power, with projects from CSIRO and universities dating back to 1994.[3] It is more than a little bewildering that this has not already been converted into commercial operations, until one takes into account the ‘wasted years’ of the Howard government’s failure to invest in national infrastructure of any kind.[4]

Apart from the move to renewable energy and the ability to provide dispatchable, baseload power, why else is solar thermal with storage so important to Australia in 2014?

It is one of the best suited technologies for Australia. We have a lot of space to build huge generating plants in remote locations and