PerspectiveENGINEERING

Concentrating on Solar Electricity and Fuels

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Science  13 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5993, pp. 773-774
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191137

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Summary

Intermittent sources of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, pose a “storage problem.” They must generate more energy than the immediate demand, so that stored energy can be used when the resource is unavailable. Aside from pumped hydropower, large-scale storage of electricity is still technically and economically challenging. For solar energy, concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in regions in the sunbelt of Earth offer ways to store this energy on a large scale, either thermally or as chemical fuels.