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Assessing the potential for concentrated solar power development in rural Australia

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: Clifton, J. and Boruff, B.
  • Journal Name: Energy Policy
  • Journal Number: 38(9)
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Western Australia

This paper identifies the potential for concentrated solar power (CSP) to generate electricity in a rural region of Western Australia. A review of policies designed to stimulate the contribution of renewable sources highlights the continued reliance upon fossil fuels to supply current and future electricity needs in Australia. Potential CSP sites are defined in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia through overlaying environmental variables and electricity infrastructure on a high resolution grid using widely available datasets and standard geographical information system (GIS) software. The analysis confirms that CSP facilities can be sited over large areas of the Wheatbelt which can be tailored to local patterns of supply and demand. The research underlines the necessity to develop a policy regime which actively supports and stimulates CSP in order to capitalize upon its potential to facilitate rural economic development while contributing towards greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

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