Good question, Dylan. Solar updraft technology is an effective way of getting green energy, and it appears to be efficient as well. It was determined that it would take 20 km squared of an area to build a power plant of this type, which would produce about 100 megawatts. A similar area of land covered by solar panels would produce about the same amount of energy, so we can at least say it would be about as efficient as solar energy.
Hope this helps!
Although it is cheaper, it has very low efficiency compared to other solar concentrating technologies or photovoltaics. According to models, it is expected to convert only about 0.5% of the incoming solar power, as opposed to about 10-20% and up to 40% for the other technologies.
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