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This book examines the key technologies being deployed in an effort to tap the potential presented by world's deserts for siting large-scale solar power applications, and surveys the feasibility of such projects given the remoteness and the hostility of these environments Focusing on large scale photovoltaics and concentrating solar thermal power, it explains how the systems work, projects that are being planned, the required scales, and the technical difficulties they need to overcome to function effectively. It then moves on to examine the economics of such projects (including financing) and the social and environmental effects they may have. The book also considers the future for these systems as well as other, less developed technologies which may have a role to play. Illustrated throughout by reference to built or planned projects, and written in a clear, jargon-free style, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the development of large scale solar applications.
Part I. Introduction. Environmental Challenges, Resource Crunches, the Renewable Imperitive, Energy from the Desert. Technology. CSP vs PV, Parabolic Troughs, Power Towers, Dish-stirling Systems, Fresel Reflector Systems, Storge and Cooling Systems, Solar Chimneys, Thin-film and Crystalline PV, CPV. Energy from the Desert. Potential from the deserts, size and locations and size of deserts, appraisal of potentials,harnessing this energy, political policies to support solar around the world. Economics of Large Scale Solar. The Solar Market, Feed-in Tariffs, Carbon Trading, Renewable Obligation Certificates, Subsidies for Fossil Fuels. Part II. Projects, Existing and Planned. Existing Projects, Planned Projects focusing on Europe, USA, Australia, North Africa, Middle East, China, India. Longer Term Visions. Masdar City, Desertec, Trans-Green, Indian Solar Missions. Barriers and Challenges. Health Concerns, Environmental Issues (water use, land use, carbon emissions balance), Availability of Raw Materials (indium, gallium, silicon etc). Conclusion. Hope for the Future.