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How Australia Got Hot For Solar Power

Down under, they're all over alternative energy - starting with a 1,600-foot tall 'solar tower' that can power a small city.

Published: 06-Aug-2006

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) -- The editors have identified the Best business ideas in the world, which will appear here in a series throughout the next month. Check back daily for updates.

Rattling down a red dirt road on the edge of the Australian outback, Roger Davey hits the brakes and hops out of a rented Corolla. With a sweep of his arm, he surveys his domain - 24,000 acres of emptiness stretching toward the horizon, the landscape bare but for clumps of scrubby eucalyptus trees and an occasional sheep.

It's a dead-calm antipodean winter's day, the silence of this vast ranch called Tapio Station broken only by the cry of a currawong bird. Davey, chief executive of Melbourne renewable-energy company EnviroMission, aims to break ground here early next year on the world's first commercial "solar tower" power station.

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