• Solar energy technologies of the future

                July 11, 2012
                by Valentina Zammarano

                Concentrating Solar Power (Copyright by Amazing Data)

                A new report published  by  The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC),  presents the results of a study examining the potential of Concentrating solar power (CSP) to contribute to reaching the desired energy system transitions in Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

                The European Union (EU) has established challenging targets for making a transition to a sustainable energy system in Europe, including that the EU’s electricity supply should achieve essentially zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

                The EU has approved a strategic plan to increase support to energy technologies with low emissions of CO2.

                In addition, an industrial project will be realized in the Sahara desert to exploit solar energy and then convert it to electricity for european countries.

                The study has confirmed that vountries in MENA region are aiming to develop their economies, pointing at those energy infrastructures which are sustainable, to face climate change.

                The solar resource and technological potential CSP based in Southern Europe and the MENA region could make a substantial contribution to meeting future energy needs.

                Concentrated solar power systems use mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area.

                Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat, which drives a heat engine, usually a steam turbine, connected to an electrical power generator.

                The concentrated light is then used as heat or as a heat source for a conventional power plant (solar thermoelectricity).

                The solar concentrators used in CSP systems can often also be used to provide industrial process heating or cooling, such as in solar air-conditioning.

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