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Could the Sahara desert be used to provide energy for the rest of the world?

The Sahara Desert would seem to be a dream location for powering the rest of the world by the use of renewable energy, both wind and solar.

I have thought about this possibility for a long time and it would seem that I am not the only one.  The difficulty with this may be that the Sahara desert is part of a number of African countries.

It covers large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia, extends over 9 million square kilometres (3,500,000 sq miles), and covers about a quarter of the African continent.

Logically, to use solar panels and wind farms in the Sahara desert, or any other desert for that matter, would seem to be an ideal solution to reverse global warming and deal with climate change.  It might even help to reduce extreme poverty in Africa.  But, would the large energy companies ever allow it to happen?

So, what has been happening so far?  Morocco has already begun to install solar panels on is territory, with a solar park about the size of Paris.  It is called Noor, which is Arabic for ‘light’.  See:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/morocco-turns-the-sahara-desert-into-a-solar-energy-oasis

There is also the Sahara Solar Breeder Project, a joint initiative between the universities of Algeria and Japan.  It is claimed that solar power plants there could supply half the world’s energy requirements by 2050.  It will begin by building a silicon manufacturing plant in the desert to transform silica in the sand into silicon of sufficiently high quality for use in solar panels. Solar power plants will then be constructed using the solar panels, and some of the electricity generated will supply the energy needed to build more silicon plants to produce more solar panels and then more electricity.  A short video explains the process:

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2010-12-sahara-aims-power-world.html#jCp

The whole idea has been discussed by a number of groups:  See as follows:

https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-cant-we-put-solar-panels-in-the-Sahara-Desert-as-a-source-of-electricity-It-seems-like-it-would-also-help-the-African-economy-perhaps-lessening-the-poverty-and-violence

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34987467

https://theecologist.org/2010/feb/10/whats-stopping-us-getting-solar-power-deserts

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/dec/11/sahara-solar-panels-green-electricity

https://singularityhub.com/2017/12/03/the-tantalizing-dream-of-a-solar-sahara/#sm.00004g1rcd15l3ffir2gs4mipa8mq

One group feels that it would become a target for terrorist activity, especially as there is much political instability in this part of the world:

http://tinosolutions.com/why-dont-we-put-solar-panels-in-the-sahara-desert-2/

Many of these posts describe it as a tantalizing dream. But, to me, it is the most obvious option open to the global population.  If it is feasible, then we should find a way.

10_19_2015_Bobby_Magill_CC_Solar_1_1050_758_s_c1_c_c

There is also a claim that wind and solar farms could make it rain regularly in the Sahara desert, through a two-fold increase in rainfall, enabling vegetation to take hold.

ttps://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pa8edb/wind-and-solar-farms-could-make-parts-of-the-sahara-green-with-vegetation

 

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