Posted by: Barry Bickmore | June 9, 2011

Utah-Based Solar-Thermal Company

This is cool.  There is an article today in my university’s student newspaper about a Utah-based company called RaPower3.  Apparently, they have developed an innovative solar-thermal system that is comparatively cheap.  Solar-thermal systems concentrate light from the Sun to boil water and make steam to drive a turbine, just like burning coal makes steam to drive a turbine.  Solar-photovoltaic systems convert light directly into electricity, but the materials are way more expensive.  The RaPower3 people say they will soon be able to generate electricity for the same price as coal.  I’m not sure if that includes tax incentives, but I hope more of this kind of thing keeps popping up.  As soon as solar energy is as cheap as fossil fuels on a large scale, there won’t be much to argue about, anymore, in terms of what to do about climate change.


Responses

  1. Cool stuff, sounds promising. Solar PV is expected to match the market price of coal within the next decade too. Probably sooner if we can get a danged carbon pricing mechanism in place, to make the market price more accurately reflect the true cost of coal.


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