Thanks to Scientific American, our last post concerned the world’s eleven largest renewable energy projects.
Go read those posts, but here are a few highlights:
- The Berlin-based Desertec Foundation is heading up the plans.
- The “largest solar project” distinction refers to the entire proposal, not to any single site. The concept includes multiple solar farms throughout northern Africa.
- It will be 10-15 years before the project comes online.
- As proposed, the project would supply 15% of Europe’s energy demands. (Really? 15% of ALL energy demands, or just 15% of electricity demands? I haven’t fact-checked yet, but both blog posts use this figure.)
- The technology is to be concentrating solar power. (Does anybody know of a nice source that compares the cost, efficiency, benefits and drawbacks of concentrating solar power vs. other forms of solar energy collection such as photovoltaic cells?)
- The project seems to have plenty of detractors: Those who fear that Europe will invest less in domestic solar power, that it will have difficulty negotiating with the north African nations in question, and those who worry that sandstorms and political instability could wreck the proposed solar farms.