ARENA aims to introduce renewable energy to existing power plants in Australia

October 14, 2013 0 By Erin Kilgore
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Agency has big plans for renewable energy and hybridization

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is expected to unveil a new strategy concerning the hybridization of the country’s power plants. The majority of Australia’s electrical power is currently derived from fossil-fuels, but the country has been growing more interested in renewable energy in recent years. Part of this interest in clean power is linked to environmental concerns and the country’s intentions to reduce the emissions it is responsible for.

Introduction of clean technology to existing power plants is becoming more common

ARENA has taken note of the growing prominence of renewable energy throughout Australia. Geothermal, solar thermal, and other forms of clean power have been successfully incorporated into the country’s existing power plants in recent years and have helped reduce the country’s reliance on fossil-fuels. This success has encouraged ARENA to seek out the further hybridization of the country’s power plants. Hybridization involves the introduction of clean technology to conventional energy production systems. While this process will not wholly replace fossil-fuel-based systems, it could help ease the country’s transition toward renewable energy.

Renewable Energy - Power PlantSolar energy helps add 44MW of capacity to existing coal power plant

A new solar thermal system is being introduced to the Kogan Creek coal power plant in Queensland, which will boost the facility’s energy production by approximately 44 megawatts. Similar projects are taking place at other power plants in Queensland, some of which involve the use of geothermal energy technology. ARENA believes that these projects will help alleviate the demand the country has for fossil-fuels and give the country a chance to modernize its energy grid in a more affordable fashion.

Hybridization may reduce the financial impact of renewable energy

Renewable energy is often coupled with a high upfront investment. Typically, the larger the renewable energy venture is the more expensive it will be. Through hybridization, the costs associated with renewable energy are mitigated to some degree because the energy systems involved are relatively small in scale.