The well-known energy problem due to the unstable oil price, uncertain reserves capacity, and local and global pollution problems is stimulating the development of clean innovative technologies. Innovative technologies will contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions and the creation of a more sustainable economic structure worldwide. The exploitation of renewable energy sources for heat and power production is commonly considered the most promising way to reduce the impact of human activities on environment, since clean energy technologies allow using no-fossil derived energy, without producing pollutants and GHGs.
Among renewable energy technologies, those exploiting solar energy seem to be the most applicable thanks to the huge and diffuse solar energy availability. Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants are today mature systems to convert solar radiation into exploitable energy at competitive costs, especially in countries belonging to the so-called âsun beltâ. If PV cells allow direct conversion of solar radiation into electricity, CSP plants allow combined heat-and-power generation suitable for several industrial and residential applications.
Figure 1: Potential locations identified for the MATS demonstration plant in Egypt