Solar power in the north African desert

29 November 2006   0 comments   Politics,,1957692,00.html

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"Scientists say the global energy crisis can be solved by using the desert sun"

I've been wondering for a long time why the open deserts in north Africa isn't used for solar energy. There's 3 times as much sun there as there is in Europe. Unlike wind power plants in Europe, there's plenty of space for solar energy mirrors on the vast stretches of the north African desert.

This Guardian article is really interesting for me. Here are some interesting facts:

"[the two German scientists] calculate that covering just 0.5% of the world's hot deserts with a technology called concentrated solar power (CSP) would provide the world's entire electricity needs"

"Together the region could provide all its electricity needs by 2050 with barely any fossil fuels and no nuclear power. This would allow a 70% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production over the period."

The article also sheds some light on the comparison of fusion reactors compared to solar power.

"The outlook is not promising. More than 30 countries last week agreed to spend £7bn on an experimental fusion reactor in France which critics say will not produce any electricity for 50 years, if at all."


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