The Secretary shall conduct a program of research and development to evaluate the potential for concentrating solar power for hydrogen production, including cogeneration approaches for both hydrogen and electricity.
The program shall take advantage of existing facilities to the extent practicable and shall include—
(1)development of optimized technologies that are common to both electricity and hydrogen production;
(2)evaluation of thermochemical cycles for hydrogen production at the temperatures attainable with concentrating solar power;
(3)evaluation of materials issues for the thermochemical cycles described in paragraph (2);
(4)cogeneration of solar thermal electric power and photo-synthetic-based hydrogen production;
(5)system architectures and economics studies; and
(6)coordination with activities under the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project established under part B of subchapter VI on high temperature materials, thermochemical cycles, and economic issues.
In carrying out the program under this section, the Secretary shall—
(1)assess conflicting guidance on the economic potential of concentrating solar power for electricity production received from the National Research Council in the report entitled “Renewable Power Pathways: A Review of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Programs” and dated 2000 and subsequent reviews of that report funded by the Department; and
(2)provide an assessment of the potential impact of technology used to concentrate solar power for electricity before, or concurrent with, submission of the budget for fiscal year 2008.
Not later than 5 years after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall provide to Congress a report on the economic and technical potential for electricity or hydrogen production, with or without cogeneration, with concentrating solar power, including the economic and technical feasibility of potential construction of a pilot demonstration facility suitable for commercial production of electricity or hydrogen from concentrating solar power.
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