Concentrated Solar Power is where sunlight is converted to thermal energy to heat water. Lenses or mirrors are used to focus solar radiation onto a small area, and the concentrated light is converted to heat. This in turn produces electricity, which powers a heat engine connected to an electrical power generator.
As more electricity enters the grid, the increasing popularity and acknowledged benefits of solar parks are reflected in a halving in costs over the last two years. With expenses continuing to fall – within a few years both nuclear energy and onshore wind are likely to cost more – solar power is the British public’s most popular energy technology; 75% believe the Government should support solar energy.
According to the European Commission’s Institute for Energy, 0.3 % of the sunlight that shines on the Sahara and Middle Eastern deserts could supply all of Europe’s energy needs. Investing in such regions is crucial for diversifying our energy supplies for the future. Low Carbon and Nur Energie, are partnering in the development of their TuNur project. TuNur is a flagship 2GW solar export project in the Tunisian Sahara which will be connected to the European electricity grid via a dedicated cable. When the project comes online in late 2018 it will provide clean and reliable power to more than 2.5 million UK homes.