terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Steam-Solar Power September 22, 2007

Filed under: energy, environment, solar — terra @ 12:00 pm

Australia uses a system of mirror fields to capture the sun’s rays and direct it to water, which generates steam, which creates power. California is also using a similar system, and may soon be used to power Los Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

One physicist theorizes that solar power can be generated, stored, and distributed throughout the United States. This would essentially replace oil and natural gas as our sources of power. Even electric cars, plugged into the grid, could be powered with solar-thermal electricity. And he says he can do it for $.10 per megawatt hour. Not bad, considering the cost of electricity will continue to rise under the current system of non-renewable resources, and solar-thermal has no harmful effects on the environment. Thermal storage is less expensive than electricity storage.

by combining a system that would meet the needs of California and Texas, solar-thermal plants could supply 96 percent of the national electricity demand. “We have the ability to transition to a zero-carbon electricity future without moving the electricity price around” says John O’Donnel of Ausra.

A solar-thermal system like this would also work well with supplemental energy sources, such as wind power.

“If its storage system works and proves cost-effective, Ausra might just help usher in a solar revolution.” – Scientific American


3 Responses to “Steam-Solar Power”

  1. Edwin Says:

    Good Morning Terra,

    Great look to your new website.

    The alt energy movement really exites me – just saw a discovery program about recycling garbage into electricity. Much of the technology is being developed by GE. My dad is a retired finance man for GE, I am a “GE Baby” – son of GE WWII Vet program just after WWII – he and I have much stock in the company and feel a little better if they are developing alt energy (efficient elect locomotives, solar, wind etc.) as opposed to defense projects. Anyhow, when I get my shareholder report, am glad to see these green applications in it.

    Keep up the good works on this site and be assured you have an avid reader here.

    PS. proud to be the first commenter on this new format if I am…please ignore those rude dummies on TCS that antagonize you so

    My real name is Edwin, Petey is my disabled (unable to write & brain damage))
    54 yr old brother — I carry on his fight for right under his name “Petey”

  2. mom Says:

    Edwin & Petey ~ Thanks for being the first commenter on my Terra’s new format. I think you are the first. I sent her a text message about it yesterday. When I read your post, I got the goose bumps. I am so proud of your dad, you and your brother for your interested in recycle. I sometimes get overwhelmed at the number of people that are ‘not aware’ of recycle. Thank you for your huge support on my daughters new place.

  3. terra Says:

    Should I call you Edwin or Petey? I’ve always enjoyed your comments on TCS and here! And not just because we usually agree. :)

    I have been reading recently about GE and others who are making real steps to reduce their impact. It will save the business loads of money, add credibility, and help our planet at the same time.

    Even GM is working to be waste-free. (post on that soon!) It’s so much better to use the resources they have, instead of creating new ones. Reduce and reuse, that’s what I love.

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