Deserts offer cheap source of energy
Nov 21, 2006 asiawind.com
SAHARA sunshine could provide Europe with clean and cheap
energy, according to a study for the German government.
Experts said solar energy from north Africa could
help to reduce emissions from European power stations
by 70 per cent by 2050 as well as providing energy
at a cost equivalent to a $20 barrel of oil - about
a third of the current price.
They envisage the use of concentrating solar power
systems - in which mirrors focus sunlight on a boiler
to create steam, which drives a turbine - and transporting
the electricity on a vast network of power lines.
Creating such a grid would open up new markets for
Scotland's power industry, which already produces
a significant surplus. The authors of the report said
deserts were a major untapped source of power.
Dr Franz Trieb, of the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable
Energy Co-operation, said: "Every year, each square
kilometre of desert receives solar energy equivalent
to 1.5 million barrels of oil. Multiplying by the
area of deserts worldwide, this is nearly 1,000 times
the current energy consumption of the world."