concentrated solar arrayThe Guardian had a story yesterday on concentrating solar collectors. They have caught on to something I’ve been saying for a while: concentrating mirrors and heat engines can produce solar electricity less expensively than photovoltaic cells. Currently, we are able to store heat less expensively than electricity.

Whether the electricity comes from direct sun, or stored heat, Dr. Gerhard Knies and Dr. Franz Trieb are quoted pointing out that the lower temperature waste heat from electrical generation by this means can purify water and power air conditioning, providing host countries with additional value.

Since this type of power is only economical in deserts with strong sun and few cloudy days, the power has to be transmitted long distances — which Knies and Trieb say is practical. Power loss even between Libya and London would be quite reasonable.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.