WOW-POW = World Of Wonderful POWer: At the Zenith of Solar Energy

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At the Zenith of Solar Energy

Israeli energy startup Zenith Solar is pioneering a "concentrated solar power" method that is up to five times more efficient than standard technology. Zenith Solar, based in Nes Ziona near Tel Aviv, is a pioneer in a new type of solar energy that uses mirrors and lenses to focus and intensify the sun's light, producing far more electricity at lower cost. Compared with traditional flat photovoltaic panels made of silicon, this so-called concentrated solar power technology has proved in tests to be up to five times more efficient. That puts it on the verge of being competitive with oil and natural gas, even without government subsidies.
"Our goal is to utilize every suitable roof, backyard, and open space in Israel to turn households, hotels, and factories into net producers of electricity and thermal heat," says Roy Segev, the founder and chief executive of Zenith Solar. Founded in 2006, the startup has raised $5 million from a handful of private investors in Israel and the U.S. Now it's trying to raise an additional $10 million to $15 million to cover the cost of commercializing its technology.