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Turning Glare into Watts

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"After a decade of no activity, two prototype solar thermal plants were recently opened in the United States, with a capacity that could power several big hotels, neon included, on the Las Vegas Strip, about 20 miles north of here. Another 10 power plants are in advanced planning in California, Arizona and Nevada.


On sunny afternoons, those 10 plants would produce as much electricity as three nuclear reactors, but they can be built in as little as two years, compared with a decade or longer for a nuclear plant. Some of the new plants will feature systems that allow them to store heat and generate electricity for hours after sunset.


Aside from the ones in the United States, eight plants are under construction in Spain, Algeria and Morocco. Another nine projects are in various stages of planning in those countries as well as Israel, Mexico, China, South Africa and Egypt, according to a count kept by Frederick H. Morse, formerly in charge of solar energy at the Energy Department and now a consultant."


It is good to see so much activity

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STILL GREEN after all these articles...


Photovoltaic Cells Are Still Very Green, Comparative Test Shows


By HENRY FOUNTAIN ... Published: February 26, 2008


Solar power generated by photovoltaic cells is among the greenest of energy options. The cells just sit there, basking in the sun and emitting nothing but electrons.


Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles (Environmental Science & Technology)But cells are manufactured, and the manufacturing process is not benign. Over the life cycle of solar cells — from the mining of raw materials to the finished product — just how green are they?


Vasilis M. Fthenakis of Brookhaven National Laboratory and colleagues have the latest analysis, to be published in Environmental Science and Technology. The short answer is that photovoltaic cells are still very green.


/more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/26/science/...sola.html?fta=y

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