SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will build the world's biggest solar power plant amid warnings of blackouts within five years unless it can increase electricity generation to meet growing demand for air conditioners.
With climate change becoming a major issue in Australia as a severe drought eats into economic growth and cities impose water restrictions, the government has begun to support alternative forms of energy.
Besides the new $420 million ($318 million) solar power plant, the government also announced on Wednesday a A$360 million pilot project to produce cleaner energy through brown coal drying and carbon capture and storage.
Australia, one of the world's biggest producers of greenhouse gases per capita, refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol aimed at lowering greenhouse gases which cause global warming.
It is the world's largest coal exporter and relies on coal-fired power stations for its power supplies, supplemented with gas fired plants.
Environmentalists welcomed news of the solar power plant but were disappointed the government continued to fund coal power...read more