Solar Power

(e-Solar power towers which opened Aug 2009)
The last blog entry was somewhat downbeat as I was writing about the lack of political will to take the required action on climate change. This time I want to write about positive action that is happening now. As we move from “The Fossil-fuel Age” to “The Solar Age” obviously the key industry one might want to look at would be solar power.
In a couple of weeks time the UK will adopt feed-in tariffs for domestic scale renewable energy, and at the generous rate of 41p per kWh for solar pv. Whether or not this is a good use of money is open to debate. Most people associated with the green/ transition movement think this a good thing. I tend to be with George Monbiot on this(click here for his article ‘The German Disease’). We could have spent the money much more wisely and got much greater Co2 savings through other investments. An efficiency revolution in how we use energy in housing, transport and domestic appliances would produce massive energy savings and investment in bigger more cost effective renewables would produce low carbon electricity at a fraction of the cost of pv in a cool cloudy climate like the UK.
However really exciting developments are happening in the world of Solar. In May Algiers is hosting the Maghreb Solar Conference. It is at meetings such as these that the really important investment decisions will be made about developing solar power in the hot arid countries where a huge variety of solar technologies can really work effectively. Follow more about solar power from the worlds deserts on the excellent Desertec website