A sun-powered furnace at Indiana's Valparaiso University is demonstrating how solar power can move beyond producing electricity for the grid to take its place in energy-intensive industries. The furnace uses a giant mirror much like those in solar thermal plants to capture sunlight and direct it to a series of smaller mirrors that concentrate the light on a reactor that can generate temperatures as great as 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is to use that energy to produce nearly carbon-free magnesium for the auto industry and hydrogen as fuel.

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