Andasol, the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant

Over at The Independent, Alasdair Fotheringham has written a lovely article on Andasol, the world’s largest solar power plant.  Fotheringham delves into what makes the plant so productive:

…Part of the explanation for Andasol’s high output is that, rather than using the better-known photovoltaic solar energy system, which directly creates electrical current, its linear solar concentrators in the mirrors absorb the heat. The heat is then transferred and thermally stored in some 30,000 tons of salt – heat which can keep the electricity-producing steam turbines turning for up to eight hours after sunset.

He also writes about plans for new solar-powered operations:

In North Africa… an international venture called Desertec Industrial Initiative has recently announced plans for a Sahara-wide, €400bn solar energy project, starting in the region of Ouarzazzatte in Morocco in 2015….Desertec’s plans could produce 15 per cent of Europe’s electricity by 2050, managing director Paul van Son told the news agency Reuters last month. Space – vital for thermal solar plants which could dwarf even somewhere like Andasol – is hardly lacking in the Sahara, either. According to Desertec, it receives as much solar energy in six hours as the entire world uses in a year.

Well worth a look.

via The Independent

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