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Solar Thermal Energy

Home Solar Thermal vs. PV Competing with Fossil Fuels Major Solar Thermal Players Technical Challenges Land Requirements

Land Requirements

Another challenge for solar thermal is the amount of space required for efficient production of energy. Not only space, but space that gets a consistent amount of direct sunlight. Solar thermal power plants typically require 1/4 to 1 square mile or more of land. One silver lining of global climate change and human impact on the land is that more and more farmland is becoming unsuitable for agricultural production. This land, presumably originally chosen for its sun exposure, begs to be used for solar thermal energy production. Utilization of desertification can prove to be a boon for solar thermal real estate procurement and growth.

With solar thermal technologies being developed and advanced by companies such as eSolar, Brightsource, Abengoa, Acciona, Ausra and Schott Solar, the world has a new alternative. The benefits of eliminating coal from our energy diet are many. By not burning fossil fuels, countries can be truly energy independent. Also, by limiting, and hopefully eliminating, carbon emissions, a nation's pollution will not be windswept into another nation's territories, further cementing the concept of independence.

Solar thermal plants are being built around the world, and many new planned plants are in the works. Solar thermal is the current solar electricity cost champion, but more improvements are needed to beat the cost of the lowest-cost fossil fuels in a legislative climate without subsidies or carbon taxes.
An eSolar solar thermal power plant uses less acreage than other industry competitors, who often need several square miles of land to operate.
eSolar's unique approach to solar thermal power plants requires much less land than other companies' solutions and allows for plants to safely be located closer to populated areas.
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