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Battle of the Solar Technologies

Andy Skumanich, CEO of SolarVision Consulting, breaks down the benefits and drawbacks of CSP, PV and CPV technologies.

2 Comments

Bruce Michael
August 10, 2010
I was disappointed that Mr. Skumanich wasn't fully up to speed on CSP. An immediate advantage CSP has, even without storage, is in having a smooth output due to its normal working fluid that stays hot for a good period even with cloud cover, unlike PV which drops precipitously. This makes it much easier for utilities to manage. The other point is that storage is not in the research stage, it has been installed for several years, at the Nevada Solar One project, and in some projects in Spain. Research is being done to refine it - size, types of storage materials, etc., but it is a proven technology.
Mary Saunders
August 9, 2010
I liked the distinctions Andy Skumanich made between the California market and the Arizona market. I find some naysayers here in Oregon who put renewables down because of arguments about needing 24/7. There is such a local difference in when the most power is needed and used. For those of us who have shutting down dirty generation as a priority, it is valuable to know when the peaks are. Fortunately, I think our utilities are facing the fact that consumers want distributed generation, and that it is not going to go away. They are figuring out how to accommodate. The customer may be the PUC, but if the PUC gets ragged enough, a bone will be thrown to the most vocal of the ratepayer voices. Those ratepayers can pack solar seminars, and they ask endless questions about things such as peak use.

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