Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here Comes The Sun

Proponents of CSP say you don't need to use up much of the desert space to make CSP effective. A solar farm taking up 92 by 92 miles of desert could power the entire U.S., for example, according to Green Wombat, referring to a calculation made by the chairman of solar company Ausra, David Mills.

Over in Europe, however, a group of scientists, politicians and renewable energy experts who call themselves The Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) have made claims on a much bigger scale and with far bigger ramifications.

TREC is backing an ambitious project straddling Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EU-MENA), which is based on the calculation that an area less than 0.3% of the Sahara Desert filled with CSP plants could power the entire region -- and could slash the EU's electricity-generated greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in the process.

The CSP-generated electricity would be transmitted around the region via a "supergrid" of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines. The CSP plants, TREC says, would "generate enough electricity and desalinated seawater to supply current demands in EU-MENA, and anticipated increases in those demands in the future."

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