Hugh Pickens writes "The economist reports that Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems that capture and focus the sun's rays to heat a working fluid and drive a turbine, are making a comeback. Although the world's largest solar farm was built over twenty years ago, until recently no new plants have been built. Now with the combination of federal energy credits, the enactment of renewable energy standards in many states, and public antipathy to coal fired power plant, the first such plant to be built in decades started providing 64 megawatts of electricity to Las Vegas this summer. Electricity from the Nevada plant costs an estimated 17 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but projections suggest that CSP power could fall to below ten cents per kWh as the technology improves. Coal power costs just 2-3 cents per kWh but that will likely rise if regulation eventually factors in the environmental costs of the carbon coal produces."
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