Solar Energy - A Renewable Source with Great Potential
It takes the sun just three hours to send as much energy to earth as all human activity consume in a year. Put another way, the sunlight hitting an area of just 1,000 square kilometres (386 square miles) in size would meet humans' entire primary energy needs.
Although solar is the renewable energy with the greatest potential, it met just 4 percent of Germany's electricity needs in 2011. Wind energy accounted for around 10 percent. Wind is in the lead (and, for now, more economic). But solar is making up ground fast, and E.ON is playing an active role in its development. Our solar activities are managed by E.ON Climate & Renewables.
Currently, there are two ways to generate electricity from solar energy. The first is photovoltaic (PV): solar cells transform the sun's rays directly into electricity. The second is concentrated solar power (CSP): the sun's rays are concentrated to produce heat that generates steam to drive a turbine and generator, much like in a conventional power plant.
Solar Power is the key area of E.ON Climate & Renewables' renewables strategy covering both PV and CSP. Our PV activities are focused in Italy and France where we have a project pipeline of over 600 MW.
Furthermore E.ON, together with 13 other companies, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a DESERTEC Industrial Initiative (DII). The objective of this initiative is to analyse and develop the technical, economic, political, social and ecological framework for carbon-free power generation in the deserts of North Africa. The DESERTEC concept, developed by the TREC Initiative of the Club of Rome, describes the perspectives of a sustainable power supply for all regions of the world with access to the energy potential of deserts.