Most of the talk about renewable energy is aimed at electricity production. However, most of the energy we need is heat, which solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce efficiently.
To power industrial processes like the making of chemicals, the smelting of metals or the production of microchips, we need a renewable source of thermal energy. Direct use of solar energy can be the solution, and it creates the possibility to produce renewable energy plants using only renewable energy plants, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial civilization.
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This is a rather long article advocating the use of solar heat (concentrated solar power) in industrial processes, where heat, not necessarily electricity, is required. This kind of use is still very much in its infancy...