Removing darkness through solar energy:
It was last week only when Resources Minister Martin Ferguson impressed us by duly supporting a renewable energy project with all sincerity and enthusiasm. Although he was long accused of mismanagement of resources and a biased nature in favour of fossil fuels, his recent action has created a new image of him among the hearts of many.
In addition to this, is the crucial role that nanotechnology is playing in the rapid development of the country as stated by the Finder’s University Press Release on 20th December. It is soon going to convert the nation into a highly efficient solar energy powerhouse at a global level.
This step was eventually taken as a safety measure to reduce the cost of concentrated solar power. It was a part of an effort by the Australian Solar Thermal Initiative with regard to the development of solar energy and other renewable alternatives at an international level this time.
What does concentrated thermal solar mean? Large scale mirrors are used to concentrate the energy of the sun to heat fluid inside a pipe. This fluid will transfer the heat into an electric power generator and thus create electricity as explained by Professor David Lewis, Flinder’s University.
This technology is preferred to be set up in a cloud-free region to reap maximum results from it. However this tends to make high maintenance costs a grave issue. Hence research is now being done intensively to develop new coatings so as to prevent excessive dust and pollution build up over the surface of mirrors.
Research is being done in many other areas too. Lightweight mirrors which are a little economical too are being developed as a possible option. The fluids are also being transformed into ones which can withstand higher temperatures and improve efficiency to cut down on the overall maintenance expenses.
Australian Solar Institute:
According to Mark Twidell, outgoing head of Australian Solar Institute, this technology which is a novel initiative in Australia, is a well-practiced concept in Spain and has a magnificent future in Australia over the few years. He seems to be quite confident and optimistic about this statement that he publicly made.
In an interview with Renew Economy, Twidell stated the complementary nature of concentrated solar and PV solar technologies. Both of them can function parallel. He said that since both technologies can go hand in hand, their funding can be done accordingly.
Nanotechnology also has a crucial role to play in such research and developments. It is being viewed as a potential tool to bring in pollution free and clean environment in near future with minimum or no harmful substances in the environment. However its initial development and application requires a lot of financial and political support.
All of this boils down to the usual conclusion of revised government policies. Political will and support are inevitable to efficiently set up such a technology and affect the world at a global level. Although the bright future of solar energy remains bonded under various circumstances, once set free, it is surely going to outshine into the bleak future that we otherwise entail.