Australia has made a new world record in "supercritical" steam. This involves the use of solar panels to generate heat that boils water and generates steam. The steam could be used instead of coal in power plants.
Pressure reached 3,400 psi at a heat of 1,058°F. This is peak performance "stuff". It rivals coal in its efficiency. The first time a non-carbon source has at least equalled the efficiency of coal.
Six hundred mirrors (heliostats) were used and their beams were directed at two towers housing solar receivers and turbines. In the future power generation could be virtually free from the sun during daylight hours.
This technology is new and supersedes older "subcritical" steam production. More work has to be done but there is no doubt power generation will eventually not need coal. It is not good news for Australian exports. It is good for the world though.
Science by Ty Buchanan