Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All The World's Power From These Little Dots

Can you see the black dots on the map? The dots cover the land area necessary to provide the current energy needs of the human world, given only 8% energy efficiency of the solar to electricity process used. Solar thermal gets about 30% efficiency, and most photovoltaics get close to 10% or more.
Solar thermal energy is an abundant resource most constant and plentiful in the near-equatorial desert regions of the world--such as North Africa. Europeans hungry for more energy are looking south to the African desert for electricity that may allow Europe to limp forward despite a suicidal Kyoto gesture being pushed forward by EU bureaucrats.

A small modular solar thermal plant such as this could produce 25 MW of electrical power. If you could also utilise the waste heat from the plant, your total energy production would at least double. A large power grid spanning huge distances of North Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and parts of Europe, would allow the abundant solar resource of the Sahara to be exploited by wealthier and more productive Europeans to the north. The image above depicts such a large grid that also includes other renewable energy sources available in different parts of the grid.
H/T Treehugger (from Spiegel) via Peswiki

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts