Solar thermal electricity (STE) is the most cost-effective form of electricity generation. All global electricity needs can be met with solar thermal electricity generated in deserts and transmitted to the rest of the world using high voltage direct current (HVDC).
Sunlight in deserts is concentrated, to heat a liquid that produces steam to power a standard electricity generating turbine as used in natural gas power plants. These two types of plants are combined, with natural gas (or biogas) used for backup.
Solar thermal electricity plants are in deserts because much more solar radiation penetrates the dry atmosphere. Heat is efficiently stored in molten salt tanks to generate electricity at night. Deserts retain very little heat, radiating heat back to the sky at night. Intercepting a very small fraction of that energy is enough to provide all global electricity needs.
Electricity from solar thermal electricity generating plants will be transported long distances to all parts of the world using high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines.
HVDC transmits electricity much further using smaller towers and less wires.
Wood substitute building material