The Israel cleantech world is buzzing over BrightSource and its subsidiary Luz II. The companies recently invited the press to visit the world’s first operating solar thermal field in the Negev Desert, for creating clean and efficient solar energy. The 12,000 square meter test site will generate 1.5 MW of electricity.
Cheaper heliostats, no need for oil since water (used for steam) is directly heated, and the fact that they can achieve a higher concentration of sunlight (focused by 1,600 computerized heliostats atop a 60 meter tower) are all factors that make BrightSource the most efficient solar energy solution (says the company). If the pilot tests to be true, the company plans on building 5 similar power plants in California’s Mojave Desert in the next 10 years.
If Israel can generate a significant amount of its power needs through clean fuel like solar energy, we’d be more keen on Shai Agassi’s electric car (Project Better Place). See our post Green Smoke and Mirrors on The Huffington Post about why a nationwide electric car solution is not ideal for Israel. At least not within the next decade or so.
Also check out Autoblog Green where we were criticized for being a latte slurping, Prius collecting liberal. It’s pretty funny. For the record, this Green Prophet does not slurp and she does not even own a car.
Let the sunshine in!
See also the Light of a Thousand Suns, solar research from Ben Gurion University.