Solar Thermal Power: The Seamless Solar Link to the Conventional Power World (2000)

This report was arranged by Renewable Energy World. The report provides explanations behind the need for solar thermal power as an energy source. Four different options for solar thermal conversion are explained including the parabolic trough or solar farm, solar central receiver or power tower, trough power plants, and power tower plants.

There is huge competition for the market share for solar thermal power. Unfortunately, many independent power producers are hesitant to invest in this new technology because of the small profit to be gained. Therefore it is difficult to get this technology on the market.

With the recent increase in oil prices and the decrease of interest rates and capital costs solar thermal power plants have increased in appeal. Many countries such as Spain, Greece, Australia, and the United States have implemented this energy source.

Back in 2000, a Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) demonstration unit replaced a coal fired plant in Queensland, Australia. On the island of Crete in Greece, with the help of a private venture capital fund called Solar Millennium and some Greek and European industrial partners, the first ever solar thermal project company THESEUS S.A. was formed. Spain had also decided to take part in the development of solar thermal energy after it had received incentives from their government to start the program. They have developed solar thermal energy through the use of parabolic troughs and power tower technologies. The passage of green electricity and portfolio policies amongst certain states has ignited the interest of certain prominent United States companies such as Bechtel, Boeing and Duke Solar to gain an interest in solar thermal power technologies. 

Author : Michael Geyer and Volker Quaschning

Date of publication : 2000

Pages : 10

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