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The principles regarding the conversion of solar thermal power have been known for more than a century, however its commercial exploitation and the construction of plants on an industrial scale did not occur until the mid 1980's. The first pilot plants that were built in various countries around the world tested their technological, economic and environmental performance and gave highly encouraging results. One of the emerging technologies of the solar thermal sector is the so-called Dish - Stirling system which transmits thermal energy, collected by a paraboloidal dish reflector, to a Stirling engine connected up to an alternator. That renewable energy technologies, particularly in the production phase, are currently those that generate a lower environmental impact compared to traditional fossil fuel systems is now well-established. Despite this, many studies fail to include an evaluation of the impacts generated by systems designed and built for energy production over their entire life cycle. The aim of this paper is to provide, with the aid of LCA, a preliminary environmental assessment analysis of a paraboloidal dish solar thermal power plant.
Date of Conference: 9-12 July 2006