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Issue 7, 2011
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Technologies and trends in solar power and fuels

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Solar radiation is the largest indigenous energy resource worldwide. It will gain a significantly more relevant role in covering the energy demand of many countries when national fuel reserves fall short and when demand increases as is expected within the next 10 years. If solar energy is transformed into heat by concentrating and absorbing the radiation, energy can be stored easily. Thermal energy from mirror fields that focus solar radiation not only is able to generate electricity but also can be used to generate storable heat, to desalinate salt water or to synthesise fuels from water and carbon dioxide to store, transport or use them on-site. The application of concentrated solar radiation as a primary energy source can help to decarbonise electricity generation and many other sectors to keep the chance of staying within the 2 °C goal for limiting the effects of global warming. The aim of the present contribution is to give an overview on the state-of-the art of technologies for solar thermal power production and fuel production and to describe the status and outlook of commercial projects and perspectives of market development.

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Article information

04 Feb 2011
20 Apr 2011
First published
20 May 2011

Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 2503-2511
Article type

Technologies and trends in solar power and fuels

M. Roeb, M. Neises, N. Monnerie, C. Sattler and R. Pitz-Paal, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 2503
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01128F

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