Posted: Dec 14, 2010 6:13 pm
by Macdoc
Post coal??

baby steps.....but at least some move forward..

Salty solar plant stores sun's heat

* 14 December 2010 by Sonia Van Gilder Cooke
* Magazine issue 2790. Subscribe and save

The plentiful sunshine of southern Spain is being harvested to generate electricity day and night

DRIVING through the baking landscape of Almería, it is no mystery why this Spanish province is home to a novel type of power station that generates electricity by harnessing the heat of the sun.

For over 20 years, the Plataforma Solar de Almería, sited on an almost rainless plain in the south of the province, has been at the forefront of research into solar thermal power generation. Helped by Spain's sunny climate and generous government subsidies, this has led to the construction of 10 solar thermal plants across the country in the last three years alone. Some 50 more are planned.

Within the centre, parabolic dishes lie strewn about like huge discarded toys, but the site is dominated by a giant white tower. Thousands of mirrors, known as heliostats, surround it, catching sunlight and focusing it onto a receiver on top of the tower. This concentrated sunlight produces superheated steam that drives a turbine to generate electricity ... -heat.html

US could be off coal in 30 years if they were motivated.....combination of strategies - efficiency, public nukes, private solar and wind.
Most of the sun belt - which is getting dryer anyways could use solar steam

Even natural gas is better tho fracking is a horror unfolding...

Breaking Away From Coal
Published: November 29, 2010

HOUSTON — Progress Energy Carolinas, one of the South’s larger utilities, faced a dilemma last winter. ... wanted=all

The Facts About Getting America Off Coal.

by ManfromMiddletown
Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 04:12:47 PM PST

We all know the story by now. Flags across the country are at half mast, and in West Virginia 25 miners are dead. We depend on coal to keep the lights on, and as the chart below shows we got nearly half of our electricity from it in 2009. ... a-Off-Coal.

MIT: Simply dispatching natural gas plants before coal would cut U.S. power-sector CO2 emissions 10%
Gas can be a bridge to low-carbon future if we put a price on CO2

July 13, 2010

The overbuilding of natural gas combined cycle plants starting in the mid-1990s presents a significant opportunity for near term reductions in CO2 emissions from the power sector. The current fleet of natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) units has an average capacity factor of 41 percent, relative to a design capacity factor of up to 85 percent. However, with no carbon constraints, coal generation is generally dispatched to meet demand before NGCC generation because of its lower fuel price. ... atch-coal/