Concentrated Solar Power

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is where sunlight is converted to thermal energy to heat water. Lenses or mirrors are used to reflect and focus sunlight onto a receiver where the concentrated light is converted to heat. This thermal energy in turn produces electricity via a turbine or a heat engine connected to a generator.

CSP power plants have the potential to be used as a baseload source of electricity, in much the same way as a nuclear or coal fired power plant, by storing the thermal energy before powering a generator.

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. One such project is TuNur, a large 2GW solar export project in the Tunisian Sahara which will be connected to the European electricity grid via a dedicated cable. A project of this scale would be able to provide clean and reliable power to an estimated 2.5 million homes.

With Low Carbon’s early involvement, Nur Energie is developing the first CSP power plant in Crete, Greece. The 50MW project will a central receiver tower with molten salt storage to meet the islands demand profile on a daily and seasonal basis. You can view the latest footage of the development here.

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