Energy Insiders Podcast August 21

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The solar tower power plant announced last week by the South Australia government is probably the most exciting development in Australia’s energy markets since …… the Tesla big battery in July!

Still, the arrival of a big solar plant with storage, and the ability to produce power at will, meet the government’s energy needs and supply into system peaks promises to reshape the state’s energy market.

Solar thermal expert Keith Lovegrove joins regular Energy Insiders Giles Parkinson and David Leitch to discuss the Port Augusta solar tower project.

Will it make money? How will it change energy markets? How is the contract structured? Does it mean the end of new gas and coal plants.

Plus: Cheap wind at Coopers Gap, the new wind, solar and storage mega plant planned for north Queensland, and why big manufacturers like Bluescope should stop complaining about gas prices and embrace renewables.

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To listen to past episodes of Energy Insiders as well as our new podcast Solar Insiders, please click here.


Energy Insiders is sponsored by Solaray Energy


  • Alastair Leith

    Collgar was put there because Windlab assessed it as a windy part of the state plus fact of being at the junction of three interconnectors, one to Perth, one to Kalgoorlie and one down south. But it turned out they don’t do so well in the capacity payments because it’s not as windy at Collgar when demand is high in summer. Down south the small community sized wind farms generate much better C.F. at times of most need.

  • Rikaishi Rikashi

    So the concentrating solar plant is competing against expensive gas peakers, not other renewables.

  • Tim Forcey

    During the discussion about alternatives to gas, the words “heat pump” were not used. As Keith Lovegrove’s ITPower report for ARENA showed (link below), heat pumps are a key technology that will provide lower-temperature process heat that previously was supplied by burning gas.

  • Mark Roest

    We can slash the cost of both solar power towers and wind turbine towers and blade spars with the Bosch Captive Column structural geometry and advanced materials. Check out, including the history and papers sections, and the photo gallery, and let me know if you would like to know more. I worked with Lawrence R. Bosch, the inventor, for 10 years. It will also be good for bridges, communication towers, light poles, power line towers, and support for solar canopies over parking, driveways, and roads. And for the columns and beams of ultra-light bidirectional monorails which can have short headways, thus very high passenger per hour capacity. It’s an industry waiting for its time to come, and the waiting is just about over.