A really hot topic: Using solar energy through highly concentrated mirror systems, we can achieve high temperatures of 150 - 1500 Celsius to drive power cycles (electricity generation) or industrial processes such as cement production or green hydrogen. The technology is commonly known as concentrating solar power (CSP) and typically includes storage to provide energy even when the sun is not shining. But how far along is CSP technology? How does it differ from PV? Where is the greatest potential? And what role will CSP play in a future renewable energy mix?
We talk to Wes Stein. He is Chief Research Scientist for Solar Technologies at CSIRO, Australia's national science organization and chair of the SolarPaces Conference 2023.
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Wes Stein is a Chief Research Scientist for Solar Technologies at CSIRO. He has been active in CSP research for over 25 years and was instrumental in establishing the National Solar Energy Centre at CSIRO, including building Australia's first solar tower. He is also the Chief Technologist for the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute where he leads the development of strategies and technologies for the next generation of CSP. Prior to CSIRO, he worked in the power industry for 20 years in power station operation and design, as well as investigating and developing new energy technologies for utilities.
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