And create thousands of new jobs and prevent millions of tons of CO2 from being released.
CSP uses mirror to focus sunlight on water. The reaction creates
steam that turns turbines and generates electricity. Unlike
photovoltaic solar panels, CSP only works in places with reliable sunny weather, such as parts of the southern U.S., North Africa, Mexico, and India.
Sven Teske, co-author of the study, estimates that current
investments in CSP ($2.8 billion) could grow under a moderate scenario
to over $11 billion by 2010 and produce 7% of the world’s electricity
generating capacity. By 2050, investments could grow to $93 billion.
This all assumes, of course, that political and investment barriers are
removed in short order. But even in a modest scenario, CSP could grow
to 830GW of installed capacity by 2050, providing 12% of the world’s
power needs. Combined with geothermal and wind farms, alternative
energies could provide a significant portion of our overall energy
needs in the next few decades.