by Rachel Scheier, LA Times
In 1913 on the outskirts of Cairo, an inventor from Philadelphia named Frank Shuman built the world’s first solar thermal power station, using the abundant Egyptian sunshine to pump 6,000 gallons of water a minute from the Nile to irrigate a nearby cotton field.
World War I and the discovery of cheap oil derailed Shuman’s dream of replicating his “sun power plant” on a grand scale and eventually producing enough energy to challenge the world’s dependence on coal.
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