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A long-term strategic plan for development of solar thermal electric technology

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5 Author(s)
Williams, T.A. ; Nat. Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO, USA ; Burch, G.D. ; Chavez, J.M. ; Mancini, T.R.
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Solar thermal electric (STE) technologies-parabolic troughs, power towers, and dish/engine systems-can convert sunlight into electricity efficiently and with minimum effect on the environment. These technologies currently range from developmental to early commercial stages of maturity. This paper summarizes the results of a recent strategic planning effort conducted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a long-term strategy for the development of STE technologies (DOE, 1996). The planning team, led by DOE, included representatives from the solar thermal industry, domestic utilities, state energy offices, and Sun*Lab (the cooperative Sandia National Laboratories/National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnership that supports the STE Program) as well as project developers. The plan was aimed at identifying specific activities necessary to achieve the DOE vision of 20 gigawatts of installed STE capacity by the year 2020. The planning team developed five strategies that both build on the strengths of, and opportunities for, STE technology and address weaknesses and threats. These strategies are to: (i) support future commercial opportunities for STE technologies; (ii) demonstrate improved performance and reliability of STE components and systems; (iii) reduce STE energy costs; (iv) develop advanced STE systems and applications; and (v) address nontechnical barriers and champion STE power

Published in:

Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, 1997. IECEC-97., Proceedings of the 32nd Intersociety  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

27 Jul-1 Aug 1997