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Summary:

Idealab founder and CEO Bill Gross tells us that his solar thermal company eSolar can deploy its mirrors for “half the cost” of other solar thermal developers and the Chinese government is looking to deploy its solar tech in hybrid form in conjunction with burning biomass.

Idealab founder and CEO Bill Gross says his solar thermal company eSolar, which uses software and computing to lower the cost of solar, can deploy its mirrors for “half the cost” of other solar thermal developers. That’s one reason why the Chinese government has agreed to buy a whopping 2 GW of solar thermal technology from eSolar, and Gross told us at our Green:Net conference last week that the Chinese government is specifically looking to deploy eSolar’s solar tech in a hybrid form in conjunction with burning biomass to create baseload solar.

By burning biomass at night, when the sun isn’t available to produce power, the eSolar technology can generate clean power 24-7 and Gross says it will be the first hybrid deployment of this type at this scale in the world. Other solar companies have been developing this technology on a smaller scale. Check out this video interview with Gross at Green:Net talking about how low cost computing can cut solar prices, and how eSolar scored its deal with the Chinese government:

For all of the presentations and videos from Green:Net 2010 see here.

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Cleantech Market Overview, Q1 2010

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By Katie Fehrenbacher

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  1. very interesting !

  2. Recent Advances in Renewable Energy | greenwaysolarproducts.com Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    [...] Bill Gross: eSolar to Launch Hybrid Solar Biomass Tech in China [...]

  3. Rainer Schulte Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Biogas from biomass feedstock is a good backup for wind and solar- but its also the only alternative energy which has 100% storage capacity!! Germany is full in this line with special corn types designed to deliver high biomass About 450.000 Ha are currently used to produce corn biomass from 2.2 million ha used for corn in general each year. For Farmers, its a business now to “farm” energy. Biogas then is converted into electricity and fed into the grid 24 h- in peak times you can switch a second generator on to stabilize the grid. Biomass you can easily store in silos (not like Solar or Wind)- so 24 h available. Instead of feeding cows, you feed the biogas tank directly, where the bacterias (from the cow) convert the biomass into CH4 and CO2. Co2 then is separated and CH 4 drives the gen sets.

  4. Let him create anotehr bubble, destroy the serious part of solar markets and then try to rebuild reputation

  5. Green:Net Presentations & Slides! Friday, May 7, 2010

    [...] Bill Gross: eSolar to Launch Hybrid Solar Biomass Tech in China See All Articles » Skyline Solar Gets a Green Light in Express Lane for Cleantech Patents [...]

  6. DOE Picks eSolar, Abengoa, Others for $62M in Solar Funds Friday, May 7, 2010

    [...] and Bill Gross’ Idealab, eSolar has been going like gangbusters in recent months. (Check out this video interview with Gross at our Green:Net event last week talking about how low cost computing can cut solar prices, and how [...]

  7. Is eSolar the Next Solar IPO Candidate? Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    [...] But eSolar seems to be at the front of the pack in the solar thermal market. It’s innovation is using pre-fabricated smaller mirrors and components that can ship cheaply and be put together quickly and with little skill. See a video clip with eSolar chairman and former CEO Bill Gross here. [...]

  8. eSolar Founder Launching Solar Thermal For the Next Billion Thursday, July 1, 2010

    [...] eliminating a bunch of the construction costs. That was also one of the ideas behind eSolar (as Bill Gross explained in this video interview) but Ansari said the massive size of eSolar’s plants and the sophistication of the power [...]

  9. Developer Ditches PG&E Solar Project Friday, July 2, 2010

    [...] biofuel plants would be able to provide 24/7 power, by burning biofuel at night. Other companies like eSolar and Suntrough are working on similar [...]

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