Victoria should keep Alcoa with cheap solar electricity

In the new low-carbon economy,  Alcoa is exactly the sort of industry that should stay here (The Age, 16/12).  But it should be powered by a resource Australia has plenty of – sunshine. Here is an opportunity to move Australian industry into the new fossil-free age by powering Alcoa with electricity from a solar plant in the state’s north.

A concentrated solar thermal plant with molten salt heat storage could supply 24-hour electricity to Alcoa in Portland. Such plants have been built in Spain and the US and local energy think tank Beyond Zero Emissions has shown they would be feasible here.

Certainly the up-front cost would be higher, but if Australia is to [take advantage of] the new age of clean energy this is just the sort of innovative venture we should support.

In the longer term, because of our plentiful solar and wind resources, Australia could become a world energy superpower. But not unless we start now.

Keith Burrows, Fairfield
Letter to Editor: The Age: 17 Dec 2015
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/so-we-are-all-on-the–road-to–somewhere-20151216-gloz0f.html

Key Words: Climate Change, OzPolitics
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