"A fresh start for concentrated solar power?" Craig Wood, Vast CEO, Joins John Engel on the Factor This! Podcast

March 22, 2023
"A fresh start for concentrated solar power?" Craig Wood, Vast CEO, Joins John Engel on the Factor This! Podcast

In a recent Factor This! Podcast episode, Craig Wood, CEO of Vast, joins podcast host John Engel and shares his insights on the potential of CSP technology and discusses what it means for the future of renewables.

As the world's energy demands continue to grow, finding alternative, sustainable energy sources becomes increasingly urgent. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology offers a way to generate clean, reliable power around the clock, provide long-duration energy storage, and decarbonise heavy industry by producing heat.

At its core, CSP uses mirrors to concentrate and capture the sun's energy in the form of heat. In most systems, that heat is stored through a medium, typically molten salt, to become a large thermal battery. The energy can be dispatched in the form of process heat or electricity when needed.

Vast is a leading player in next-gen CSP technology, combining the modularity of parabolic trough plants with the heat attributes of central tower systems. The modular systems can then be linked together to overcome scale limitations. Vast's use of liquid sodium metal instead of oil or molten salt as its distribution conduit borrows technical expertise from the nuclear industry, which uses it as a coolant in reactors. The sodium passes through modular towers, transferring the heat to molten salt for storage. The heat from that molten salt can then be used to create steam and spin a turbine or to create process heat.

Collecting the sun’s energy during the day and delivering it at night on demand, Vast's CSP v3.0 technology makes reliable clean power a reality. And resources that can dispatch clean energy when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing will only become more critical with further penetration of intermittent renewables.

"PV, wind, and some batteries run into a wall at somewhere between 20% and 40% to go" in decarbonizing the grid, Wood said. "You need different technologies. You need dispatchable long-duration renewable technologies."

Vast is excited by our current and future CSP projects and we're ready for the challenge of decarbonising hard-to-abate industries.

To listen the podcast episode, follow the link below:


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