Blog Archives

From Guest Blogger Lillian Connors: Solar Water Heater–an Earth-Friendly Alternative

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that significant savings can be made if we turn to free, renewable sources of energy to heat water, rather than use devices powered by electricity. Needless to say, in order to start utilizing

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New Solar Thermal Farm Boasts Enormous Scale

As we sit here in mid-2016, there are two camps in the overall migration to renewable energy: those who say it can’t be done, and those in the process of doing it. Here’s an article about a team that operates

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News Flash: Brand New Technology Sometimes Has Operational Flaws

A reader sent me this article about a fire of unknown cause, blazing in the tower of the large solar thermal facility in Nevada (Ivanpah).  Whenever I see stuff like this,  i.e., pointing out how nascent technology doesn’t work perfectly

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Renewable Energy’s Progress: Good News

Here are several pieces of good news from all around the world, heralding breakthroughs in the use of renewable energy. It’s so good to see that this is happening. The king of Morocco sounds like a heck of a good

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CSP and an Advancement in Thermal Heat Storage

Many of us occupy ourselves, in otherwise inactive moments, by contemplating what the future of energy may be like. We need to keep in mind that, since the earth receives more than 6,000 times more power from the sun than

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Renewable Energy at Enormous Scale

We all wonder where and when the world will see one single implementation of renewable energy at a scale capable of making a huge impact on our use of fossil fuels. It’s a good bet that this will come in

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Solar Energy in the Sahara Desert

From my feed on, where I’ve volunteered to answer questions about renewable energy, a reader asks: Why don’t/can’t we put solar panels in the Sahara Desert as a source of electricity? This is a strong ideal generally, since the

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Cost-Effective Solar Thermal

My colleague Gary Tulie wrote a great comment on my recent post on solar thermal,  in which he explains the opportunities for improvement in efficiencies for these technologies.  Here’s something I would add: I’m betting against tower CSP (shown here)

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Feasibility of Widespread Concentrated Solar Power

My friend I mentioned earlier writes: I had the plant construction cost at $600 million per square mile. I figured a few hundred billion more for infrastructure improvements like HVDC grid upgrades and storage. It seems the nationwide CSP solution is

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Powering the Country with Solar: It's Not Going To Happen–But Fortunately, It Doesn't Have To

A friend asks:  By your lights, has anything changed substantively – positively or negatively – with regard to the viability and cost of CSP, molten salt energy storage, and HVDC? Are we still fully capable of satisfying the entire US

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