Energy & Green Tech

California drives toward an electric future

The pressure is on for California to meet its clean-vehicle goals. In less than two years, 35% of vehicles sold must have zero tailpipe emissions. And by 2035, all light-duty vehicles sold must be zero-emissions.

Energy & Green Tech

The audacious plan to seed a global green hub in Namibia's desert

Early in May, King Philippe of Belgium was on the edge of the Namib desert to inaugurate a project that aims to help decarbonize European industry, and which might just enable one of Africa's smallest economies to hit the ...

Energy & Green Tech

Ivory Coast bets on solar in clean energy drive

The sun beats down from a cloudless sky on the town of Boundiali, where Ivory Coast's first solar power plant embodies the drive to embrace clean energy without abandoning fossil fuels.

Energy & Green Tech

Solar investment outstrips all other power forms: IEA

More money is pouring into solar power than all other electricity sources combined, with investments set to reach half a trillion dollars this year, the world's top energy research body said Thursday.

page 1 from 40

Solar power

Solar power is the result of converting sunlight into electricity. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly with concentrating solar power (CSP), which normally focuses the sun's energy to boil water which is then used to provide power. The largest solar power plants, like the 354 MW SEGS, are concentrating solar thermal plants, but recently multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built. Completed in 2008, the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm.

Solar power is a predictably intermittent energy source, meaning that whilst solar power is not available at all times, we can predict with a very good degree of accuracy when it will and will not be available. Some technologies, such as solar thermal concentrators with an element of thermal storage, have the potential to eliminate the intermittency of solar power, by storing spare solar power in the form of heat; and using this heat overnight or during periods that solar power is not available to produce electricity. This technology has the potential to make solar power "dispatchable", as the heat source can be used to generate electricity at will. Solar power installations are normally supplemented by storage or another energy source, for example with wind power and hydropower.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA