Solar thermal appears to be the most promising technology for large scale, baseload electricity generation from renewable energy. The technology is unique in that efficient energy storage as heat (a cheaper option than storing electricity) reduces the cost of electricity. Australia has one of the most promising solar resources in the world for this technology
Howard comparing emerging technologies in the House of Representatives, 31 October 2006
Are we going to say to ourselves, ‘We deny our nation the opportunity of taking advantage of that?’ You will never—and I have no greater authority on this than the member for Batman—be able to replace power stations, dirty or clean, with solar, wind or wave power. It is just not possible. Baseload power can only be generated in the foreseeable future by the use of fossil fuels or nuclear power. You cannot hope to use renewables in order to do that; so, if you are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you inevitably face a comparison on baseload generation between cleaner coal, which will be dearer, and nuclear power. The point at which those two cross each other is, at this stage, impossible to precisely determine. When we have Ziggy Switkowski’s report, we may have a better idea of where the two relate to each other.
Really, who are we to believe? And while we're at it, has anyone told Howard about the water usage of most nuclear reactors?
Solar thermal energy