Coal power plants have to be a thing of the past as soon as possible. This is because no matter how efficient they are, they are powered by digging up carbon and releasing it into the air.
However for the time being, there are many coal power stations across the world. Vishwanath Haily Dalvi of the institute of Chemical technology in Mumbai India has been looking at how we could assist this process with the suns energy.
By collecting the suns heat energy, and using this to heat the water, the amount of coal needed is reduced by 50%.
This could therefore be a more economic way of reducing emissions from power generation. Given that coal power emits 0.85 pounds of carbon per kwh (about 380g), cutting this in half would make carbon far cleaner. While this may well be expensive to set up, it might allow coal power plants to operate for a few years longer and therefore be worthwhile, as well as offsetting some of the damage from the large number of coal powered stations being built across countries such as India and China.