Concentrated solar power is a water hog

CSP focuses the heat of the sun onto a central tower to power turbines. Unforunately, it uses more water than any other form of energy generation. This is made worse by CSP plants invariably being located in deserts where water is already scarce. While it is possible to reduce their water usage, this also lowers the efficiency of the plant.

CleanTechnica runs the numbers. Solar photovoltaic is the clear winner. It is more cost-effective than CSP and uses way less water.

However, a variant of CSP, solar updraft towers, use no water at all, and appear promising. A huge greenhouse structure surrounds the tower. Induction draws the heated air in, driving the turbines. Arizona is building a grid scale solar updraft tower plant now.


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