Posts Tagged ‘solar’

Concentrating solar thermal energy

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

An old way of producing energy is coming into the fore again. In sunny areas of the world it could generate many times the power capacity we have today.

Focusing the sunsĀ“s rays by reflectors of various kinds and then heating a liquid is again being tested and used. An example is a solar-thermal pumping station in Egypt.

Many approaches are possible – water, molten salt, compressing gases, hot steam of 550 degrees Celsius. Some cooling is as a rule necessary.

Tax grants and feed-in tariffs have been used to get it moving.

20 big German companies are now planning to invest EURO 35 billion, with total investments possibly reaching EURO 400 billion as we approach 2050, for a big new sun-focusing installation in the Sahara. The distribution system to Europe will also be a challenge. The technology has been tested in Spain and in the Californian desert since 1980-ies.