Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Questions without Notice: Additional Answers
Yesterday during question time, Senator Milne asked me a supplementary question about solar thermal energy and, in particular, recent reports of the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development. I undertook to provide additional information to Senator Milne. I can inform the Senate that the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development has a report that is publicly available on its website titled Techno-economic assessment of power generation options for Australia. This report compares a range of power generation technologies and found that: ‘The cost of concentrated solar thermal energy is twice that of wind and unacceptably high compared with fossil energy.’
Research carried out by the cooperative research centres, which are now required to be incorporated, is owned by the particular CRC. As owner of the research, whether it be industry or a CRC, the owner can choose whether they act on the research or release it publicly. It is not up to the government to mandate what is and what is not available in the public domain. The CRC website lists all its reports, and its activities are reported in its annual report, which is also available online.