Energy from Sun, wind, water, biomass and geothermal sources is capable of meeting over half of Germany’s energy needs by the year 2050. This was the verdict reached by 'Leitszenario 2009' ('Lead Scenario 2009'), a study conducted by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) together with the Institute for Solar Energy Supply Technology (Institut für Solare Energieversorgungstechnik; ISET) and the Engineering Bureau for New Energies (Ingenieurbüro für neue Energien; IfnE) as part of an ongoing research effort on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit; BMU).
This photo shows a Fresnel collector at the Plataforma Solar de Almería in Spain. Fresnel collectors comprise several banks of flat mirrors that collect sunlight and ‘bundle’ it by means of an absorber tube on the mirror surface. The components required for this system are easier to manufacture than parabolic mirrors. Experts view the future deployment of Fresnel collectors as a promising new way to further trim the cost of electricity production using solar-thermal power stations.
Credit: Hauke Dressler.