All of the start-up funding is from governments? Yes, and it's a sure sign that it's a poor investment. Thanks for pointing out that Australia has plenty of (cheaper) fossil fuel energy sources. I pity the taxpayers there who have cast hundreds of millions into this money pit. (Perhaps, it'll pay off in the "long run", after it's obsolete.)
Jay Finke
Good for them, solar seems to me as the less evasive way to harness power without effecting the climate. I wounder if these produce anything under full moonlight ?
John Ballard
Let me save you the suspense, Solar is not perfect. But it will not harm the environment which contrary to some IS valuable.
@ John - you've got 680 hectares now covered with PA. That doesn't impact the environment? Sure, it's desert, but things still live in the desert. You've got a lot of rare-earth metals in those PA, that impacted the environment; you've to copper/aluminum infrastructure as well as cabling the long distance to consumers, both of which take quite an environmental impact to create.
Solar, as a concept, will not harm the environment (supposedly - the UV from the sun actually does quite a lot of "natural" damage) but a PV installation of this size does most definitely leave an impact on the environment.
Solar thermal systems can at least be designed that they can use an alternate energy source at night or during dust storms.
Aren't there roads in Australia? Don't destroy virgin desert and provide shade for vehicles during the hottest part of the day.
Stephen N Russell
How bout some for Brazil, Peru, Morocco, Turkey, India, So Africa,
Rick Fishbourne
Cool bananas...it's about time we took a bigger chunk of this pie.
John S
The concept is good the intention is good but what an environmental disaster. PV's are far better suited on wasted roof spaces, commercial buildings, logistics depots, railyards, halls, shopping malls and homes that have acres of tin, tiles etc, doing nothing, plus the added advantage that it is at the user's source not hundreds of k's from nowhere.
Newer technologies incorporating hotwater systems can have a far greater impact than a PV farm in the middle of beyond. Granted a lot of people think that a desert is dead, most haven't seen what happens when rain falls on it. Building something this large does have a monumental impact on the ecological diversification of a desert.
And realistically if they build something this large it would need to be fenced in and the ground poisoned on a regular basis to stop plants taking root and animals burrowing, roosting and living under and on the structures, so animal lovers may find it not too their liking that's for sure.
Great idea but far better suited within grid connect area's that have abundant roof space to take advantage of and utilise the heat load as well.
A technology that lays waste to hundreds and hundreds of acres is well "not realistically well thought out at all" and if it has, the full extent or it's ramifiacations are not disclosed and will eventually turn into a Pandora's box.
Ian McIntosh
Hmmm. You have done some research Socalboomer. Good. Can you do similar assessment for me on the materials required for a coal fired electricity plant. Ignore for now carbon emissions, but look up radium and ash emissions from those plants as well. Just 12 months worth will do. Then make a comparison with the terrible environmental impact of a solar plant.