A Sunburnt Country's Embarrassment of Energy Riches


We've mentioned before that Australia's cup runneth over when it comes to energy sources. The world's largest uranium reserves (40%), and the world's largest coal exporter (30%). But now the good news. A 2001 CSIRO study apparently found that Australia had the highest average solar radiation of any continent. A finding reinforced by a solar map (above) recently released by NASA, from research complied in conjunction with SoDa (Services for Professionals in Solar Energy and Radiation).

The map shows irradiance that reached the ground in the world, for the years 1990 to 2004, and expressed in W/m² (watts per square metre). The dark red spots getting the highest degree of solar energy. Looking at the map you'd have to wonder why Australia seems so intent on digging stuff outta the ground, at great expense, when it's falling from the sky in bucketloads? Via ::The Age."I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rain"

Excerpt from a 1904 poem about Australia, by Dorothy McKeller.

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