Yesterday's 'science & technology posting' looked at 'electric vs hydrogen cars':
Futures Forum: Climate change: breakthroughs in hydrogen fuel cells >>> for the "world energy transition"
Here we look at 'solar panels vs the stirling engine':
Stirling Engines vs Solar Panels - Science & Spaceflight - Kerbal Space Program Forums
12x the Power of Normal Solar Panels - Solar Stirling Plant - Guide to FREE Electricity - YouTube
The technology has been around for some time now:
Are Engines the Future of Solar Power? - Scientific American
But it's just gained a huge push from NASA:
'Nuclear engines' could provide power to humans on Mars | Daily Mail Online
Powering Up NASA’s Human Reach for the Red Planet | Department of Energy
And NASA has been interested in the technology for some time now:
A second type of solar-powered Stirling engine was patented by NASA on August 3, 1976 which employed the use of solar energy in order to freely pump water from a river, lake, or stream. The purpose of this apparatus is to “provide a low-cost, low-technology pump having particular utility in irrigation systems employed in underdeveloped arid regions of the earth…[using] the basic principles of the Stirling heat engine.
Solar-powered Stirling engine - Wikipedia
The Stirling Engine - How it Works
Although back on earth, a nuclear source is not necessary:
Could this be the world's most efficient solar electricity system? | Environment | The Guardian