Solar Thermal Power Coming to a Boil

Sure you’re aware of photovoltaics, aka solar panels, but what about concentrated solar power? This lesser-known form of solar energy works like a magnifying glass in sunlight. Instead of setting ants on fire, though, these mirrors generate electricity. Generally speaking, the curved mirrors of concentrated solar power plants amplify heat to warm water, which turns to steam, which then powers an electric generator. Also known as solar thermal power, this form of renewable energy is experiencing a new boom, and has tremendous potential. A recent study says the United States could replace 90 percent of its fossil fuel derived power with solar thermal, for less money than the cost of importing oil.

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