Aussies have come up with some pretty amazing ideas. WiFi is an obvious example, and the black box that aircraft still rely on. There’s also a new one in the works, and it could pave the way for power plants of the future.

Originating from one of our leading think tanks and research specialists, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, also known as the CSIRO, has come up with a possibility to make energy much less harmful for the environment, harnessing the power of both the sun and water, and ultimately impressing Captain Planet in the process.

“It’s like breaking the sound barrier,” said Dr. Alex Wonhas, Energy Director at the CSIRO, adding that “this step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources.”

That step is to create a thermal power plant using supercritical steam, a steam generation process that pressurises the water above 3200psi (pounds per square inch), which in turn passes through a turbine to create energy.

Helping this along is a solar plant, which takes its power from the sun and uses this energy to start the process to create the supercritical steam.

“Instead of relying on burning fossil fuels to produce supercritical steam, this breakthrough demonstrates that the power plants of the future could instead be using the free, zero emission energy of the sun to achieve the same result,” said Dr. Wonhas.

The result could end up being something that has the potential to help save our planet, because if the technology can be developed for wide use, we could see less reliance on the fossil fuel power stations gradually destroying our planet, with more use of emission-free power stations like this one helping to save it.