Here’s a short but fascinating BBC story about a ginormous (11MW, with plans for expansion) concentrated-solar power plant in Seville, Spain — the first commercial concentrated-solar plant in Europe. Hundreds of mirrors reflect sunlight at a single point at the top of a tower, where the heat boils water for stream that drives a generator.
I’d only quibble with one thing:
Is it true that this power is three times more expensive than power from conventional sources? Yes, but prices will fall, as they have with wind power, as the technologies develop.
Also, a more realistic comparison is with the cost of generating power from coal or gas only at times of peak demand – then this solar system seems more attractive.
Any time a reporter mentions the cheapness of conventional power, it should be followed with an addendum: the power is cheap because the costs of particulate pollution and climate-warming emissions are not included. If they were, the price would double or treble. That is the "realistic comparison." The point can’t be repeated often enough.
Oh, and PS, watch the video — just aesthetically, this kind of plant is amazing.