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Windmills or Reactor Cores?

windmills-or-reactor-coresUPINGTON, South Africa — In one of the most sun-drenched corners of the planet, a 670-foot tower rises above a desert dotted with 4,160 mirrors. Tracking the sun throughout the day, the mirrors, called heliostats, redirect the sun’s rays into the tower, where water is heated to generate steam — and electricity.

Since the plant, Khi Solar One, began operating early this year near Upington, it has produced enough power for 65,000 homes during the day, but also, thanks to the latest technology, for a few hours after the sun sets.

South Africa is experiencing a boom in renewable energy, nonexistent here just a few years ago. Now, dozens of solar plants clustered in the country’s northern reaches and wind farms operating along the southern coast are generating 2.2 gigawatts — more than what most African nations can produce.  Read more...