Solar thermal really does seem to be enjoying a major renaissance right now — from $1.24 billion plants in Spain, to claims that the technology could provide 90% of US electricy needs around the clock, it's not hard to see why folks might be interested. Now we hear from Renewable Energy Access that researchers in Germany and Algeria are collaborating to speed up the market introduction of large-scale solar thermal plants that could supply up to 200mw of electricity, while sumltaneously desalinating enough water for 50,000 people:
"Electricity from solar thermal plants currently costs â‚¬0.20 to 0.30/kWh [US $0.31 to 0.47/kWh], depending on the location of the plant and the amount of sunshine it receives. But with improvements in the performance of plants and better sites, solar thermal electricity could soon be cheaper than coal, and so generate huge amounts of reliable, clean electricity in hot desert regions, Milow said.
Even factoring in high steel prices and other costs, a kWh of electricity could still be as low as â‚¬0.06-0.07/kWh [US $0.09-0.11/kWh] if the power plants are in prime locations, Milow said."
::Renewable Energy Access::via site visit::