“Solar energy systems can satisfy much more of our hunger for electricity, at not much more cost than what we currently have,”
Concentrating solar power (CSP) could supply a large fraction of the power supply in a decarbonized energy system, shows a new study of the technology and its potential practical application.
Concentrating solar power (CSP) could supply a substantial amount of current energy demand, according to the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. In the Mediterranean region, for example, the study shows that a connected CSP system could provide 70-80% of current electricity demand, at no extra cost compared to gas-fired power plants. That percentage is similar to what a standard energy production plant, such as a nuclear plant, can provide.
“Solar energy systems can satisfy much more of our hunger for electricity, at not much more cost than what we currently have,” says Stefan Pfenninger, who led the study while working at IIASA. He is now a Research Postgraduate at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.
The study was the first to examine the potential of CSP as a large-scale energy production system, in four regions around the world. “In order to address climate change we need to greatly expand our use of renewable energy systems,” says IIASA researcher Fabian Wagner, who also worked on the study. “The key question, though, is how much energy renewable systems can actually deliver.”
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