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Eskom considers concentrated solar power

Publish date: 28 August 2007
Issue Number: 25
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
Category: Energy

Eskom is considering implementing concentrated solar power (CSP), which has the backing of the World Bank because it is the only zero-greenhouse-gas-emission technology that has the potential to rival coal-fired power as a low-cost solution to the energy crisis.

According to a Mail & Guardian Online report, CSP is still a relatively new use of solar power on a large scale and several rival solutions exist, but typically CSP makes use of a tower surrounded by enormous fields of giant mirrors. These concentrate the sun\'s rays at the tower where the heat is used to create steam and to turn a conventional turbine. Three possible sites have been identified on the Orange River near Upington in the Northern Cape for a 100MW SA plant. The Northern Cape has one of the world\'s best solar profiles. A favourable environmental impact assessment has been completed for the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Full Mail & Guardian Online report