Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SMART ENERGY NEWS | VIDEO: Concentrated Solar Power Tower In Seville, Spain: The Future Of Electricity?



By Joanna Zelman
The Huffington Post

     "If you wanted to generate all the world's electricity, you could do it with less than 1% of the area of the world's desert." Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Desertec, makes this statement in this video from the Guardian, "The Challenge Of Solar Power." But if Wolff is correct, why hasn't it been done yet?

Seville, Spain hosts the first commercial operation of solar tower technology in the world. According to the report, it features over 1,000 freestanding heliostat mirrors that follow the arc of the sun. In a process referred to as Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), the mirrors reflect solar rays to the tower, where water is boiled, and then steam is generated to drive a turbine, which in turn produces electricity. This electricity is sold to the national grid.

This is all possible because Spain's government has provided subsidies and incentives in support for the solar industry. Without government support, it's possible that the entire operation could not exist. That is because the upfront investment is huge, as most of the money goes into building the plant. The investor community tends to see solar plants as high risk.

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