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Western Morning News, 2006-09-04, p 11

SOLAR SOLUTION

TONY Blair and Arnold Schwarzenegger are to be congratulated on their new agreement to collaborate in the work of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

With luck, it will make Mr Blair aware of a technology for producing pollution-free electricity that has been pioneered in California and completely eliminates any need to build new nuclear power stations.

I refer to "concentrating solar power" (CSP), which means using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to create heat and then using the heat to raise steam and generate electricity in the conventional way.

CSP, which is very different from the better-known photovoltaic panels, has produced electricity successfully in California for nearly 20 years.

Of course, the UK is a long way from the deserts where CSP comes into its own. But a new report commissioned by the German government argues that it is feasible and cost-effective to transmit solar electricity over long distances using modern, highly efficient "HVDC" transmission lines.

This "TRANS-CSP" report, which can be downloaded from www.dlr.de/tt/trans-csp, calculates that CSP electricity would be one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe, including the cost of transmission.

For a whole range of reasons detailed in the report, worries about security of supply in the TRANS-CSP scenario would be significantly reduced compared with our current sources of energy.

Further information, with links to other sources, may be found at www.trec-uk.org.uk.

Gerry Wolff

Menai Bridge, Anglesey

 


Last updated: 2009-08-20 (ISO 8601)