Solar power as a renewable energy
How to cover world energy demand
The sun is one of the most promising sources of power for replacing fossil energies. Solar power is abundant, inexhaustible and free and is more predictable than wind energy. Thus, solar power is destined to be one of the technological options that will contribute massively to covering worldwide energy demand with high environmental “profitability”.
The energy value of solar radiation can be leveraged directly or converted into other forms of useful power by means of solar technologies. Solar power presents a broad number of technological options with developments that must be promoted. In the case of thermoelectric solar power, mention should be made of the first commercial plants now operating and the progress made in large-scale heat storage systems.
In this way, the technological evolution of solar power and the increasing cost of fossil fuels will permit competitive medium-to-long-term solutions in thermosolar or hybrid plants versus fossil or renewable forms of energy.
A clear example of the development of solar power is Spain, where four determining factors converge: major technological progress by dint of the research and development projects carried out in the Solar Platform of Almeria (PSA); abundant solar resources; legislation that permits a reasonable payback on the promoter's investment; and an industrial sector that is interested and involved in R&D&I projects.
Thus, in Spain, concentrated solar power (CSP) has embarked upon an evolution similar to that of wind energy, and is no doubt one of the forms of power of the future.