The publication, presented at the Global Conference on Solar
Power in Palm Springs, California, details the feasibility of
supplying 5% of the world's electricity from solar thermal power by
2020. Although global electricity demand is expected to increase
more than 100% by that time, this target is still achievable.
Furthermore, the report provides a blueprint for action that
governments can take, showing what is possible with just one type
of renewable technology. Solar thermal power is a global-scale
technology that has the capacity to satisfy the energy and
development needs of the world, without destroying it.
"The solar thermal power industry is ready to take off", said
Sven Teske from Greenpeace. "As far as climate change is concerned,
the international consensus states that the world must move swiftly
towards a sustainable, clean energy economy. Solar thermal power is
a prime choice in developing an affordable, global energy source
that replaces fossil fuels in the sunbelt regions of the
Following last year's Earth Summit in South Africa, the
Johannesburg Renewable Energy Coalition was created. More than 80
countries agreed to substantially increase the global share of
renewable energy sources by setting clear and ambitious time-bound
targets. 'Solar Thermal Power 2020 outlines what could be achieved
by 2020 given the right market conditions (2). A total of 154
million tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere would have been
prevented by 2020, making an important contribution to
international climate protection targets.
"The aim of the blueprint is to push further forward the
boundaries of technological progress, and to realise the subsequent
benefits," said Georg Brakmann, ESTIA President. "Solar thermal
power does not need to be invented, it is ready for global
implementation today. Expansion in the solar thermal power industry
will result in the creation of 200,000 jobs world-wide. The five
most promising countries are Spain, the US, Mexico, Australia and
South Africa, each have already more than 1000 MW of solar thermal
projects expected by 2020."
Greenpeace and ESTIA are encouraging politicians and
policymakers, global citizens, energy officials, companies,
investors and other interested parties to support solar thermal
power by taking specific steps.
Notes: (1). Solar thermal power is heat energy obtained by exposing a collection device to the rays of the sun. A solar thermal system makes use of the warmth absorbed by the collector to heat water or another working fluid, or to make steam. Hot water is used in home or commercial buildings and for industrial processes. Steam is used for process heat or for operating a turbine generator to produce electricity or industrial power. (2). From a current level of just 354 MW, by 2015 the total installed capacity of solar thermal power plants will have passed 5000 MW , according to the Greenpeace/ESTIA projections. By 2020, additional capacity would be rising at a level of almost 4500 MW each year and the total installed capacity of solar thermal power around the world will have reached 21,540 MW.