Within the space of six hours, the world’s deserts receive more energy than all the people in the world consume in a year. The only question we have to answer is:
“How can this radiant energy be economically transformed into useful
energy and transported to consumers?”
The DESERTEC Concept provides a solution to this.
In order to meet today’s global power demand […] it would suffice to equip about 3/1000th 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 — all this absolutely CO2 free.
[pg 6] Europe’s Desertec project Red Paper (pdf)
The Race is ON — to find the World’s Largest Solar Footprint!
Here are some of the contenders …
Large-scale photovoltaic power plants
Ranks 1 – 50
But look out class, the new kid on the block, is coming on strong! Last place is NOT in their Vocabulary.
First Solar to Build World’s Largest Solar Power Plant in China
By John Duce and Indira A.R. Lakshmanan — Sept 9, 2009
The world’s second-biggest energy consuming nation plans to invest 2 trillion yuan ($293 billion) in its alternative-energy industry from 2006 through 2020, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planning agency. China may pass Europe, Japan and the U.S. to become the world’s largest user of renewable energy by 2010, according to Washington-based researcher WorldWatch Institute.
China, the world’s biggest polluter, burns coal to produce 80 percent of its electricity and wants at least 15 percent of the nation’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.
First Solar Inc., a U.S.-based renewable energy company, will build the world’s largest solar power plant in China as the country plans to increase non-polluting electricity generation, becoming one of the biggest solar inverter repair services in the world. The plant would be about thirty times larger than existing solar power stations operating in Europe
“There are a few existing solar projects of about 50 to 60 megawatts, but this would be the biggest by a country mile,” said Charles Yonts, an analyst specializing in alternative energy at CLSA Ltd. in Hong Kong. “China is suggesting the solar market will be up to 20,000 megawatts by 2020, but the scale of this project suggests these estimates are far too conservative.”
20,000 megawatts — that’s a lot of power!
enough to …
The 2-Gigawatt plant [2,000 megawatts] in the Mongolian desert will generate enough electricity to power three million homes.
But Europe, which is known as the World’s Eco-pacesetter, is not to be out done. They got some BIG Plans of their own, and they just got some key African Nations on board with the plan:
North Africa Finally Sees the Light
Cam McGrath, CAIRO — Apr 27, 2010
The Desertec project is a 400 billion euro private sector initiative that aims to tap renewable energy sources in North Africa to satisfy 15 percent of Europe’s electricity demand by 2050. Up to 80 percent of the electricity generated, mostly by CSP power stations, would be used by domestic consumers. The remaining 20 percent would be transported to buyers in Europe.
The Mediterranean Solar Plan, a flagship project of the Union for the Mediterranean (a union of European countries with others that border the Mediterranean Sea) follows a similar model. The project will invest over 40 billion euros to build solar facilities and purchase their output to help Europe achieve its goal of 20 percent renewable energy use by 2020.
The first CSP projects in North Africa are expected to begin operation by the end of the year. Algeria’s 150 MW power plant at Hassi R’Mel is scheduled to go online in October, followed by Egypt’s 140 MW plant at Kureimat and Morocco’s 450 MW plant at Ain Beni Mathar.
Those Solar Grid Projects should put some people back to work in this Great Global Recession! Good prep for the future too, now that the golden Age of Oil, is beginning to fade into that Industrial Sunset.
The development and trading of energy from renewable sources will boost economic development in these regions and creates local jobs in the production of collectors as well as in the construction of solar power plants: For example, the construction of only one 250 MW parabolic trough power plant requires 1,000 workers and engineers for a period of two to three years.
[pg 8] Europe’s Desertec project Red Paper (pdf)
Not bad work, if you can get it.
Not to be left out of that Largest Solar Footprint contest — the good ole USA is bringing up the rear. Better to finish last, than to not have competed they say …
World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Coming to Arizona in 2011
by Mahesh Basantani, 02/25/2008
The Arizona solar power plant has been named Solana, which means “a sunny place” in Spanish, and will be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, and cover 1,900 acres. The capacity of the power plant has been projected at 280 megawatts – a capacity which could power 70,000 homes and create 1,500 jobs. The electricity generated by the plant will be sold to APS to the tune of around $4 billion for over next 30 years
from the Solar Sponsor, Arizona’s APS
About Solana Generating Station
It will produce enough energy to serve 70,000 APS customers when operating at full capacity. The plant will be built by Abengoa Solar Inc., and is scheduled to provide renewable energy beginning in 2012.
The facility also would be the largest solar power plant in the world if in operation today.
APS’ Commitment to Renewable Energy
We have seen our renewable energy portfolio expand rapidly, growing from less than one megawatt in 2001 to more than 245 megawatts today. This is enough energy to meet the needs of approximately 61,000 Arizona homes. This is only the beginning!
Let’s hope APS Power company is right — that This is only the beginning!
Because America has a lot of catching up to do, if we don’t want to be the last Nation, in the race, who still hasn’t kicked that 20th Century Carbon Habit.
Cough, Cough, Wheeze, Wheeze …
And as everyone knows, the “Benefits of Quitting” — are Priceless!