Clarification Needed on ‘Clean Energy’ – Scarce Investment Dollars Should Flow Only To Renewables

Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes the establishment of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The Greens have been successful in striking forest burning out of the definition of renewable energy but have failed to negotiate the end to the practice of hybrid gas/solar plants. Without clarifying what constitutes ‘clean energy’, Australia risks wasting billions of scarce renewable energy investment dollars on unnecessary and polluting gas/solar hybrid power plants.

All solar thermal plants to be built in Australia with support from ARENA and the CEFC's $10 billion funding pool must include molten salt thermal storage configured in a 6-10 hour storage peaking arrangement or in a full 15-17 hour baseload configuration.

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director Matthew Wright said:

“A hybrid gas plant is not a configuration that will take us to a renewable energy future.  Using gas combined with Solar Thermal with out including storage will hold us back.”

Wright added:

“The most economic solar facility without storage is solar photovoltaic. If you wanted to back this up with gas then the most efficient approach would be to install a gas peaker plant, and the grid already has lots of these. The real clean energy future will be powered by truly renewable wind power, concentrating solar thermal with storage and rooftop solar photovoltaic.”

Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes investment to get legitimate wave, solar and tidal technologies from the R&D stage to commercial.

Contact: Matthew Wright, Executive Director, +61 421 616 733