The world's population grows by around 300 million people every three years. The requirement for energy and mobility will remain a rapidly growing priority in the growth regions (developing countries). According to a study by the World Energy Council, global energy demand is set to increase by 70 to 100 percent by 2050, i.e. to virtually double. This will lead to significant increases in prices for energy raw materials and therefore energy itself. Mankind has already extracted almost 40 percent of all crude oil supplies from the ground. Experts do not expect to find any more spectacular giant reserves.
The demand for electricity is expected to see a particularly sharp rise. Currently electricity generation accounts for 41% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. The ongoing rapid increase in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide content is largely responsible for climate change, and the growth rate over the last ten years being the highest in 50 years. 78 % of this increase is due to the use of fossil fuels. A temperature increase of up to 6.4°C is predicted for 2100.
Today's energy system therefore needs to undergo a sustainable conversion. Renewable energies will play a significant role in this process, particularly when a high degree of supply stability can be provided. Solar thermal power plants are ideally suited to meeting these requirements: thermal storage or hybrid operations are able to ensure reliable and stable power generation, even when the sun is not shining. An Andasol power plant cuts down on 149,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually compared to a modern coal-fired power plant.