Concentrating Solar Power

Why CSPs Can Help Meet the Nation's Demand for Energy

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted May 29, 2007

While photovoltaics (PV) is the most common—and well-known—application for solar energy harvesting, the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) sector is finally starting to pick up some much-needed steam.

CSP captures and absorbs the sun's radiation and either converts it into electricity or uses the stored heat for other purposes. Concentrating Solar Power generally operates in one of three ways:

  • Parabolic troughs
  • Parabolic dishes, and
  • Power towers.
nevada solar one parabolic dish  

 Power Tower

I'll spare you the extended science lesson, but I will tell you that CSP isn't a small-time player . . . despite its lack of mainstream popularity.

In fact, the third largest solar power plant in the world, Nevada Solar One, just came online last month. This is a Concentrating Solar Power facility with over 300 acres of parabolic troughs that use heat from the sun to power turbines—creating enough electricity for 40,000 homes.

CSP can also be used in small-scale applications as an effective clean distributed power source or it can produce the high temperatures needed by small heat engines to generate power.

Plus, the energy can be used directly to meet a variety of heating and cooling needs or to enhance the output of traditional solar cells.

Because of its relatively low cost and ability to deliver power during periods of peak demand, CSP could be a major contributor to the nation's ever-increasing demand for energy.

The Big Question: Is the Concentrating Solar Power Sector Profitable?

Well, admittedly, the opportunities in CSP are limited.

But we at Green Chip have been fortunate enough to find a way in through a company we recommended all the way back at the beginning of 2005.

WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corp. (formerly WorldWater and Power Corp.) (WWAT.OB) today announced its acquisition of ENTECH Inc., a leader in the CSP industry.

This announcement, coupled with a memorandum of understanding signed last week with Solargenix Energy LLC, makes WorldWater & Solar one of the few viable plays in the realm of concentrating solar power.

After the announcement the stock quickly shot up over 10% to $0.73 before settling in at $0.701.

The stock is now up over 133% since we first recommended it. Have a look at its investment growth in the last year:


Forecasting the CSP Sector

Over the next couple of years, we'll be watching WWAT closely to see how well it performs in the CSP sector.

We'll continue to focus on new entries in the thin-film and organic photovoltaics sector as well.

Incidentally, we're going to have the opportunity to pick up some new players later in the year in the domestic and international markets.

In fact, Sam Hopkins, our international correspondent, leaves for Israel today to check out some potential solar plays that could come online as soon as this fall.

We'll keep you posted.

Until next time,

nick sig


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