Today’s Solutions: February 26, 2024

We’d venture to say that all countries hope to take on renewable energy, especially since all evidence suggests that if we don’t curb our fossil fuel use, the world will go careening into climate catastrophe. However, not all countries have access to the resources needed to make the switch.

For instance, Australia’s Northern Territory has an abundance of space and sun, making it ideal for harvesting solar energy. Singapore, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same access to the space required for this kind of renewable energy, despite having the desire to transition to renewable power.

Well, a new ambitious project is looking to connect the two countries so that Australia’s sunshine can be sent to Singapore, solving the issue of space that Singapore faces and allowing them to successfully reduce their use of fossil fuels.

The Australia-Asia PowerLink project, led by Australia’s Sun Cable, plans to form the gargantuan “Powell Creek Solar Precinct” on 12,000 hectares of arid land about 500 miles south of Darwin. This site is perfect for such a huge project because it is one of the most consistently sunny places on the entire planet.

The plan is for this area to become home to 17-20 gigawatts of peak solar power generation and around 36-43 GWh of battery storage. To put these abstract numbers into perspective, this would be almost 10 times the size of the world’s current largest solar power installation found in India (2.245-GW Bhadla Solar Park), and more than 30 times more energy storage than the last “world’s biggest battery” project.

All that sunshine power will travel north to the coast through overhead cables, and will then continue its trip northwest to Singapore through around 2,600 miles of high-voltage DC submarine cable placed along the seafloor, passing through to power some of Indonesia’s islands, too. It’ll supply up to 3.2 GW of dispatchable clean energy, which, according to Sun Cable, will provide up to 15 percent of Singapore’s electricity and power up to three million homes.

This is great news for the environment because it would signify an 11.5 million ton slash in CO2 emissions, the equivalent of getting rid of 2.5 million cars from the road.

Construction is set to start in 2023, and for Singapore to receive this sunshine energy by 2027.

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