The authors present some thoughts about building a connection between Australia and South East Asian countries, supplying solar power from the Australian desert to them. They note that doing so would be a good match to getting energy from the “Chinese desert” (they don’t mention Mongolia). That is because these two locations would provide for seasonal balance. When it is winter in Mongolia, Australia would produce at full summer peak, and vice versa.
They also add some calculations about cost and estimate about 8 cents per kWh sometime in the future.
I like the reference to the seasonal balancing, something I had not yet realized. On the other hand, I am somewhat less thrilled that they either have never heard of Masayoshi Son’s “Asia Super Grid” proposal or didn’t think it worth mentioning. A simple search with “Asia Super Grid” would have given them some pointers.
In reality, this might very well be a race between the deserts in Australia and those in Central Asia (China and Mongolia). Whoever gets the large scale generation capacity and the power lines built first may get the privilege of exporting a lot of energy for decades to come.
I hope that both sides eventually join this race, and both sides eventually win it.