Last week, Abengoa, BrightSource Energy and Torresol Energy, three of the world’s leading solar energy companies, launched the Concentrating Solar Power Alliance (CSPA). The initiative aims to educate U.S. regulators and lawmakers on the benefits of concentrating solar power. Concentrating solar power is a method of increasing the efficiency of the renewable energy and the performance of solar panels and cells. This method utilizes a system of mirrors and lenses that work to magnify the light of the sun, making it more potent, thereby increasing energy production.
The use of this method is often accused of being more troublesome than it is worth. Because the mirrors and lenses used are designed to amplify sunlight, they tend to generate a significant amount of heat. The mirrors and lenses are cooled using water, which is a finite resource in and of itself. This method is also somewhat expensive, making it unviable for some users of solar energy.
The CSPA claims that concentrating solar power will help the country make significant progress toward its energy efficiency goals. The organization will work to educate federal lawmakers on how the technology associated with the method works and highlight the research being conducted to improve the technology as a whole. The federal government has shown a keen interest in solar energy and could be encouraged to pay more attention to concentrating solar power, especially if it will help break the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.