Let's Solar Power the World
By Dave Christmas
I have just read an article in the latest copy of ReFocus, the official magazine of ISES (the International Solar Energy Society).
The article was called "Solar can provide ALL of Europe's electricity. It was based around a report commissioned by the German Environment and Nuclear Safety Ministry. In this report it was claimed that by placing solar collectors in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa, Europe could receive all its energy requirements from the sun.
"Every year, each square kilometre of desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil." Says Franz Trieb the study manager.
"Multiplying the area of the worlds deserts world-wide, this is nearly a thousand times the entire current energy consumption of the world."
The report also states "The cost to collect solar thermal energy is equivalent to $50 per barrel of oil now, which is less that the current world price" and speculates this cost will drop to $20 in the future.
It also states. The existing grid is not capable of transmitting large amounts of power over long distances, and a combination of conventional AC grid and high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission technology would be used in a trans-European electricity scheme. HVDC lines lose only 3% of power for every 1000 km of distance and solar electricity could be imported with only 10% loss compared to the 50% to 70% in conventional coal fired power stations.
Mr. Howard the uranium can stay in the ground.