The Energy Department recently announced $25 million in funding to advance concentrating solar power (CSP) system technologies. This investment will fund research and development (R&D) projects to improve the performance and increase the efficiency of all components of CSP plants, ultimately lowering the cost of solar electricity and producing affordable, clean and renewable energy, even at night, by storing the heat generated by the sun.
"Investments to improve the efficiency and lower the costs of concentrating solar power technologies enhance our ability to deliver affordable solar-generated electricity to American families and businesses, while also moving us closer to achieving President Obama’s goal of doubling renewable energy generation again by the end of the decade," said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson.
CSP generates electric power by using mirrors to focus and concentrate the sun’s rays on a receiver from which a heat transfer fluid carries the intense thermal energy to a power block to generate electricity. CSP technology with thermal energy storage can store the sun’s intense heat for use when the sun isn’t shining.