Vast Solar’s CSP system is smart, modular and highly cost effective to construct and operate. Our significant contribution to the progress of CSP globally has been recognised by the international CSP community with the International Energy Agency’s SolarPACES 2019 Technical Innovation Award.
CSP is a dispatchable renewable generation technology with massive potential in Australia. It delivers what Australia needs to replace its retiring coal plants – long duration energy storage, reliable and dispatchable renewable electricity and grid strengthening services. More importantly, it is the only technology that can be rolled out sufficiently quickly across the country to provide a scaffold for the NEM transition (pumped hydro is expensive, environmentally challenging and takes too long to build) with far less transmission augmentation than current plans contemplate.
Critically, at scale, Vast Solar’s system produces power at a lower cost than coal or gas fired power plants and other renewable storage technologies, and it will meet the stretch target of $100/MWh defined by the Federal Government’s Low Emissions Technology Statement (LETS).
Learn more about Vast Solar at https://www.linkedin.com/company/vast-solar-pty-ltd/
What does climate leadership look like to you?
To be effective, climate leadership needs to have both the top-down vision (e.g., Net Zero by 2050) focusing on long term goals, and also bottom-up strategy (e.g., the Federal Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap) focussing on short to medium term goals.
Both the long-term vision (to decarbonise) and the short to medium term goals (the steps we need to take now and soon to decarbonise) are equally important.
Climate leadership also means taking bold steps to deploy world-first technology. That’s what we are doing with our hybrid power plant in Mount Isa, which will be the first utility-scale project to use our modular tower solar thermal technology. This project will be the first of many as, per IEA forecasts, solar thermal will make up between 5-25% of energy generation in sun-belt countries across the world.
What would you like to see come out of COP26?
For global decarbonisation, it would be consensus on both the top down (long term) vision as well the bottom up (short to medium term) strategy. Put another way, we need both a destination and a roadmap of how to get there.
In the Australian context, it would be a realisation that our energy transition and decarbonisation presents an enormous export opportunity for Australia, a country which is blessed with enough sun and wind to supply the entire planet with energy, as well as the best brains to develop the technologies to power the transition.
It is exciting to see this start to happen through companies such as Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), with its global hydrogen and ammonia plans, as well as Sun Cable, which is building the world’s first intercontinental power grid, connecting Australia to Singapore to supply 24/7 renewable power. We believe Vast Solar’s modular tower CSP has a role to play in delivering continuous, low cost renewable energy to power such projects.