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Solar: The answer to 90 percent of energy needs?

roof.jpgAusra is a solar power technology company. While you might think to yourself, rightly, that the firm might have its own motives for putting out studies bigging up the potential of solar power to conquer the world’s energy needs, Greenbang will share Ausra’s latest research gem anyway, as it’s got some interesting stuff in there.

According to a study by the firm, solar power could drum up 90 percent of all energy needed both by the grid and by cars.

The report tackles the issues around energy storage and the fluctuating nature of solar and says that because the seasonal and daily patterns of solar radiation already correlate strongly with electricity use, just 16 hours of thermal storage can provide reliable, load-following electric power. Told you it was interesting.

If you fancy running your orbs over the report yourself, Ausra has it here and here’s a snippet – report tapas, if you will – to keep you going:

This paper suggests not only that Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) has sufficient diurnal
and seasonal natural correlation with electricity load to supply the great majority of the US national grid (and by logical extension, those of China and India) on an annual basis with only 16 hours of storage. The correlation between the natural output and load exceeds 90% California and Texas, and also on the entire US grid. Furthermore, STE can supply much of the transportation market without destroying these natural correlations. The almost complete elimination of both fossil fueled generation and oil usage for transportation in the USA appears to be technically feasible.


  • Kevin
    Posted March 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    It seem like a grid system is part of the problem. Local electricity generation and storage via solar seems to be the best solution. Dealing with the diurnal limitations of solar are only dealt with through thermal solar production which is incredibly expensive and very limited due to the scope of the project needed to even come close to making it cost effective.

  • byron
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Solar. Solar. Solar. Just when will it be affordable for the average man? Still waiting…

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