Solar Thermal

Solar and wind power are great ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are said to save money on energy bills. But what if you need electricity when the sun is not shining, or the wind is not blowing? Are lithium “big” batteries the only answer?

Solar thermal dispatchable power promises to be a workable alternative that can provide reliable and flexible power on demand. It’s been around for a while, and it is no doubt working towards being a mature option.

Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or wind turbines, solar thermal dispatchable power plants use mirrors to concentrate sunlight and heat a fluid that can be stored in tanks. This fluid can then be used to generate steam and drive a turbine whenever needed, day or night.

Solar thermal dispatchable power can complement other renewable sources and help balance the grid, especially in regions with high demand peaks or low solar or wind resources. Cost will of course be a consideration.

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