21st Century Wire asks…
This latest engineering feat from the Emirates is the world’s biggest to date, giving a 10-fold boost in its capacity to generate electricity from the sun, but can solar really deliver the base load required to power a city? More importantly, should solar solutions be decentralized, instead of using the current centralized collection and distribution model?
MADINAT ZAYED, United Arab Emirates: Oil-rich Abu Dhabi on Sunday officially opened the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, which cost $600 million to build and will provide electricity to 20,000 homes.
The 100-megawatt Shams 1 is “the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in operation” said Sultan al-Jaber, the head of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, which oversees the emirate’s plan to generate seven percent of its energy needs by 2020 from renewable sources.
Masdar now produces 10 percent of the world’s concentrated solar power, he said during the official inauguration.
The solar park features long lines of parabolic mirrors spread over an area equivalent to 285 football pitches in the desert of the Western Region, some 120 kilometres (75 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi.
Masdar owns 60 percent of the project, while France’s Total and Spain’s Abengoa Solar own 20 percent each.
Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the federation of the United Arab Emirates.
Source: Daily Star