Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shine a light

I get a regular newsletter from the The Australian Conservation Foundation and I found this to be very interesting, maybe you will too.

Shine a light

Harnessing some of the sun’s energy that shines on the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East would solve all of Europe’s electricity demands.

We have the technology but not enough investors; the sun shines for free, while the Iraq War gobbles colossal sums of money ($US3 trillion to date). Solutions to the global energy crisis should be quite simple - shouldn’t they?

"The sun is the hidden asset of North Africa and the Middle East," says Gerhard Knies of the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC), a network of international scientists and politicians committed to solving Europe's energy problem. TREC’s mission, called Desertec, is to spin electricity out of sunshine.

Every year, 630,000 terawatt hours in the form of solar energy fall on the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa. Europe consumes just 4000 terawatt hours of energy a year. The benefits are glaringly obvious - so why aren’t affluent societies investing in this generous renewable resource? To read the full article, click mouse here.

The square at left is around the size of Austria. If that area were covered in solar thermal power plants, it could produce enough electricity to meet world demand. The area in the centre would be required to meet European demand. The one on the right corresponds to Germany's energy demand.


Kel said...

very very interesting.

nevyn said...

I've said it before but I'll happily say it again. For the supposedly most intelligent species on the planet, we are undoubtedly the dumbest.

I can't for the life of me understand why there aren't solar arrays all over the planet. It's such a waste of energy.

I do have to disagree with the size of Australia on that map. It's way too small. We might be the smallest continent but we're not that small :-)

Stewart said...

Austria nevyn Austria, and I agree. If we could get the species to get over their love of money and power we might achieve something.

nevyn said...

I'm so glad I can't read properly. I was a bit worried that was how the world saw Australia. There are times when I'm very glad to be wrong.

Did I dig myself out of that one?

Silvia said...

Unfortunately, nobody wants to invest in solar power plants!!!! At a global scale, of course! Shame...