The Solar Revolution That Wasn’t

Since it began commercial operation in late 2013, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah was supposed to light the way to a brighter energy future. The technology it employs, called concentrated solar power (CSP), or solar thermal energy, was considered a game-changer. “I think CSP is on its last leg,” says Adam Schultz, program manager for the University of California–Davis Energy Institute, and former senior analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission. Compared with the cost of other renewable energy sources, he says, CSP is just too expensive.

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