According this this analysis, from New Energy World Network, within 15 years the cost of concentrating solar power will be less than the cost of “clean” coal, at least in Australia. The analysis is based on the rates of change in cost between the two energy sources. With the cost of coal increasing, relatively, and CSP decreasing, the cost lines eventually cross, leaving CSP cheaper.
In addition, the article mentions offhandedly that connecting the Queensland and South Australian electricity grids would “likely pay for itself quickly just in increased efficiencies brought to the existing grid.”
The average Australian household could pay up to 30 per cent more per year by 2025 for electricity generated from coal and nuclear power than from concentrating solar and hot dry rock geothermal power, according to clean energy organisation DESERTEC-Australia.
This idea illustrates the kind of synergies that we need to find throughout the energy economy.
(H/T to Benjamin Chambers for the link to the article.)