Ever since the first inkling of a thought by an oil or natural gas industry executive that one day the world might run out of fossil fuel-based resources, he and his research team have been spending billions of dollars, devising ways meters might be attached to renewable energy resources. One of the first and most attractive ideas was to use large mirrors focusing sunlight on huge water towers to create steam that would run turbines.
This has since been termed Concentrating Solar Power (CSP). Recently, this technique has been called into question by some because solar cells are now so inexpensive that a viable market may no longer exist, at least for some applications of the technology.
In a recent IndustryTap article “The Dinosaur Eats Dinosaur World of Global Aerospace & Defense“, we examined Aerospace & Defense companies in regards to “size and appetite” and found the largest companies lose interest when “small potatoes” are involved.
Siemens recently looked at the more than $1 billion loss in its attempt to create energy from sunshine using the above technology. The company quickly came to its senses and got out of the business.
According to Bloomberg:
The segment has been undermined by plummeting costs in the competing photovoltaic panel sector. Three years ago energy from the latter was 10 percent more expensive than solar-thermal, while now it is less than half as much, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.