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

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.

For more research on cleantech financing check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

Cleantech Market Overview, Q1 2010

9 Responses to “Bill Gross: eSolar to Launch Hybrid Solar Biomass Tech in China”

  1. Rainer Schulte

    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.