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IEA: The Present and Future Use Of Solar Thermal Energy as a Primary Source of Energy

Author: Cédric Philibert
January 1, 2005


This paper by the International Energy Agency considers all direct forms of solar energy and assessing resource potential, technology status, and supporting policies.


The radiative energy from the Sun that keeps our planet warm exceeds by far the current primary energy supply used by mankind for its comfort, leisure and economic activities. It also exceeds vastly other energy sources at ground level such as geothermic or tidal energy, nuclear power and fossil fuel burning. Sunrays also drive hydraulics, wind and wave power and biomass growth.

This suggests that solar energy has the potential to help solve the problem it creates. Indeed, the prospects of climate change and, eventually, fossil fuel depletion, trigger a growing interest in renewable energies in general, solar energy in particular.

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