Science, Tech & Environment

Sahara solar power

(Tell us more about this plan.) The idea is to build solar panels and convert the intense light that falls on the Sahara and somehow transfer that energy up to Sweden and the UK and France. We want to get away from a reliance on fossil fuels and this is seen as a way to accomplish that. (Is there a working model somewhere that shows that this is possible?) There are working models of concentrated solar power plants, there's one in Spain for example. Technically there's nothing wrong with having lots of those in the Sahara, it's just concentrating them. (So then how do you get the energy from the Sahara to Europe?) What the researchers have found out is to have a new grid and it would go across Europe and North Africa and it uses direct current, as opposed to alternating current, and use high voltages. It's almost like a huge highway. (Why the Sahara? Is it a quantity or a quality issue?) The Sahara is huge and there's a lot of sunlight and it's more intense. It can harness three times more solar power than in northern Europe. (Will Africa get any power out of this plan?) This is a local issue as well and we'll have to share the electricity with northern African countries as well, and we're hoping this will help those countries develop more as well.

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