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Heightened Japanese Interest in CSP in Australian

Recently, as Chair of AUSTELA I was privileged to join the members of the Society of Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy in Japan (SCSTE Japan) at the Society’s December meeting, held in Tokyo. I was invited to discuss the policy environment for concentrating solar thermal power in Australia, including ARENA’s General Funding Strategy and Investment Plan.

SCSTE Japan was formed in June 2012, with Japanese government support, to help facilitate CSP technology development and to promote business opportunities for Japanese companies involved in CSP.

Japanese researchers and energy sector investors have had a long presence in the CSP sector. Heightened recent interest is part of a broader strategy for Japan to improve energy security and low-carbon energy options. Australia remains an investment destination of great interest for Japanese companies involved in CSP.

Following the Great Tohoku earthquake of March 2011 and subsequent shutdown of all Japan’s nuclear generation capacity (only two reactors have subsequently been restarted), there is much greater focus in Japan on the role and potential scale of renewable energy in Japan’s future energy mix. A new renewable energy feed in tariff regime commenced operation in July 2012.

As long-standing energy industry investment partners, Australia and Japan are well-placed to collaborate in relation to CSP industry and technology development. A technology area of particular relevance for Japan is solar fuels, offering potential for Australia’s exceptional solar and land resources to be used to produce cost-effective solar energy to be stored in transportable form for large-scale export to Japan.

AUSTELA and SCSTE are now in discussions with a view to forming an Australia-Japan CSP Collaboration Initiative, intended to accelerate the development of CSP through improved industry and research collaboration and resource sharing, drawing on the combined strengths of the two countries in CSP and related industry and technology capabilities.

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Contact Details

Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association Ltd
ACN: 149 005 210
PO Box 6127
ACT 2602, Australia