DESERTEC gets serious — Teams up with First Solar

(10 AM – promoted by TheMomCat)




Within 6 hours deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes within a year.


Over 90% of the world’s population could be supplied with clean power from deserts by using technologies that are available today.

The Tech is Available TODAY.

[continuing …]



Studies by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) show that, within 40 years, solar thermal power plants in particular will be capable of generating economically more than half of the electricity needs of the EUMENA region (Europe, the Middle East, North Africa) at that time.

In order to meet today’s global power demand of 18,000 TWh/year, it would suffice to equip about three thousandths of the world’s deserts (about 90,000 km2) with solar collectors of solar thermal power plants. About 20 m2 of desert would be enough to meet the individual power demand of one human being day and night (see below) – all this absolutely CO2 free. Maybe a commercial fitter like Sandbar Solar could become involved in this project!


Over 90% of the world’s population could be supplied with clean power from deserts by using technologies that are available today.


The Potential to live in a Carbon-free world is Real, TODAY.

The Citizens of Europe are working together to realize that Potential.

Sahara desert solar project becoming a reality

By Rachel Pollock — 19 March 2010

[MediaGlobal]: Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), the largest solar energy project, has recently gained the support of the US company First Solar and both the Tunisian and Algerian governments. The announcement of the Joining of First Solar on 16 March has propelled Desertec into soon becoming a reality providing solar energy, up to 15 percent of Europe’s energy. If completed by the projected date in 2012 […]

DII uses carefully positioned mirrors in the Sahara desert to boil water and activate turbines. According to the Desertec Foundation, the technology of the solar project is based on a concentrated solar power plant (CSP). This works just like a coal steam power plant except that instead of coal, the power plant operates solely on concentrated solar power. The mirrors work to reflect and concentrate solar energy, which are transmitted to Europe and Africa by a super grid of high-voltage direct power cables. It is also important to consider Comparison Of Solar Storage Solutions to ensure that the solar power is as efficiently gathered as possible.…

Desertec has signed on the expertise of First Solar — a USA Company.

Is this the beginning of the Green-Jobs-Gold-Rush?

More Firms Join Desertec Solar Project

By PETE BROWNE – March 17, 2010

Desertec – the ambitious $550 billion dollar project to generate electricity for Europe and North Africa through large solar collectors arrayed in the Sahara desert – took a step closer to reality this week with the announcement that the Arizona-based solar manufacturer First Solar had joined the project.

“We believe that North Africa is ideal for renewable energy technologies,” said Pia Alina Lange, a spokeswoman for First Solar in an e-mail message. Ms. Lange said the company would contribute utility-scale photovoltaic technology and expertise as part of the project.


First Solar joins Desertec solar project

Reuters – 03/16/2010

First Solar said it was the first pure photovoltaic (PV) company to join the 400 billion euro ($546.6 billion) project, set to be the world’s biggest, that proposes sending energy created in the Sahara to local markets and to Europe.


First Solar, which uses cadmium telluride rather than polysilicon to make its thin film cells, has the lowest production cost in the industry, though its cells are not as efficient as those made by rivals such as Suntech Power Holdings (STP.N) and SunPower Corp (SPWRA.O).…

Does DESERTEC plan to supplement the Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Plants (CSP-Plants), with the low-cost photovoltaics (PV) of First Solar?

Hmmmm, Interesting … Maybe they DO want to Go Further, Faster!

(as Al Gore used to say.)



The DESERTEC Concept will allow most people in the world to access solar and wind power from the energy-rich desert areas. This would be a useful addition to the renewable energy resources of each region. By using High-Voltage Direct Current transmission lines (HVDC), it is possible to transfer power with losses of no more than 3 percent per 1,000 kms. Given the relatively high intensity of sunlight in desert regions and the relatively small variations between summer and winter, the benefits of generating electricity in desert regions will more than outweigh the cost of long-distance transmission. More than 90% of the people in the world live within 3000 km of a desert and may be supplied with solar electricity from there.


Compared with photovoltaics (PV), Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Plants (CSP-Plants) have the advantage that solar heat may be stored cheaply and efficiently so that CSP plants can generate power at night or on cloudy days. Also, gas or biofuels may be used as a stop-gap source of heat when there is not enough sun. These things mean that CSP plants may deliver power on demand whenever it is required.


At present, the cost of power generated by solar-thermal power plants including its transport via HVDC transmission lines amounts to 10 to 20 euro cent per kilowatt-hour – depending on the location, technology and form of operation. However, these costs will drop significantly with economies of scale and refinements in the technologies. If environmental and hidden costs are properly accounted for, it is likely that electricity from CSP plants is already cheaper than electricity from coal-fired or nuclear power plants.

(from Red Paper pdf listed earlier)

In any case it is the low-loss HVDC electric transmission grids, that is making this importing/exporting of Sunlight possible, TODAY.

If only America, had the foresight and the leadership, to make such long-term Investments, in our own Supergrid HVDC Infrastructure, like Europe and China are already doing.

What’s this? … Maybe the USA won’t be the last kid on the block, to catch on this time, eh?

Appalachia provides coal. West Texas provides oil. Now, America’s Southwest is providing the 21st Century’s energy source: solar energy.

Long viewed as an arid wasteland suitable only for slot machines and huge hydro dams, the Southwest is now appreciated as a ‘world class’ resource of direct normal radiation.

Direct normal radiation is unimpeded, unscattered sunlight. That’s the kind that falls on deserts. It’s ideal for use with ground-based mirrors that reflect and concentrate the sunlight to create steam.


At present, the United States is leading the way in development of concentrating solar power and the revolution is rapidly picking up speed. Below is a map of America’s southwest outlining with current and planned installations.

Finally — Real action on the the Solar Energy front, in America, TODAY!

Now, THAT is a switch! … Of course, nothing’s a done deal around here, til it’s DONE!

SO, stay tuned, stay informed … Demand Results.

It’s YOUR Future.

For More on Solar Projects, being planned in America:

Solar Zones on the US Energy Drawing Boards

by jamess — Mar 18, 2010

For More on HVDC Technology, making long-distance Electrical transmission affordable:

Imagine a 350 World — It IS Possible!

by jamess — Oct 24, 2009

To Follow the DESERTEC Project’s progress:

DESERTEC Facebook Page


The Global Race to a Clean-Green-Energy-Future, may have already begun … at least we’re IN the Race, sort of.

We just need to Go Further, Faster!

SO, Giddy-Up, already!


Skip to comment form

    • jamess on March 20, 2010 at 14:18

    I’m a sunny-eyed optimist —

    I guess they don’t know me that well, lol



  2. I was of the impression that solar thermal plants used molten salt as the thermal medium. Greater heat capacity and much higher boiling point.

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