Prospects for large-scale export of renewable energy from northern Australia to south-east Asia

Prospects for large-scale export of renewable energy from northern Australia to south-east Asia

Northern Australia has enormous potential renewable energy resources, including exceptionally high levels of solar radiation, geothermal resources and very large tidal forces. However, the size of the electricity market in northern Australia is relatively modest, representing a disincentive for the large levels of capital investment required to develop, for example, solar thermal or geothermal power stations near Katherine or tidal energy resources near Darwin.However, South-east Asia is a much larger potential market for renewable energy, with fewer opportunities and more constraints to develop its own renewable energy options. Just as Germany is now seeking to import solar energy on a large scale from North Africa as it decommissions its nuclear power plants, it is worth investigating whether and how Australia could become a significant exporter of renewable energy to the region.This will be a multi-disciplinary study involving expertise across resource economics, major project development and financing and energy transmission.

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