29 March 2010

How Concentrated Solar Power Can Meet India’s Future Power Needs

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Solar energy is an enormous resource that is readily available in all countries throughout the world, and all the space above the earth

Long ago scientists calculated that an hour’s worth of sunlight bathing the planet held far more energy than humans worldwide could consume in a year. I firmly believe that India should accelerate the use of all forms of Renewable Energy (photovoltaic, thermal solar, solar lamps, solar pumps, wind power, biomass, biogas, and hydro), and more proactively promote Energy Efficiency. However, in this article, I will only focus on the use of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology to meet India’s future energy needs.

Concentrated solar power plants have been used in California, USA since the 1980s. More recently, Pacific Gas & Electric has signed contracts to buy 500 megawatts of solar thermal power from two solar companies. First, NextEra Energy Resources will sell 250 megawatts of CSP generated power from the Genesis Solar Energy Project to be located in Riverside, California. Second, Abengoa’s Mojave Solar project will supply the remaining 250 megawatts from a plant located in San Bernardino County, California. Subject to California Public Utility Commission approval of the power purchase agreements, construction of these solar energy generating plants is expected to start in 2010 with operations planned to begin in 2013. Both these solar thermal power projects will contribute to meeting California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, which calls for moving away from fossil fuels to solar and other renewable energy sources that avoid pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

(ENN - Environmental News Network)

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