Oil barons won't play ball? We'll take the sun!

2 November 2009

We keep having these wars and still we're no closer to getting the Middle East to play nice and give us good price head. We've bribed and bombed and now the bloody stuff is running out.

Consarnit!

Well, whilst everyone bites their nails and tries to make some trees die quicker so we can go hill milking for the black stuff, some smart cookies are looking elsewhere for our power. As such, Europe may be getting energy from solar power raped sourced from the Sahara.

A $400bn (£240bn) plan for such a thing moved a step closer to reality today with the formation of a consortium of 12 companies to carry out the work.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) aims to provide 15% of Europe's electricity by 2050 or earlier via power lines stretching across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The German-led consortium was brought together by Munich Re and consists of some of country's biggest engineering and power companies, including Siemens, E.ON, ABB and Deutsche Bank.

You'll agree that the last sentence may have been the most moving, powerful and riveting paragraphs in the history of the English language.

Here's the science. The solar technology involved is known as concentrated solar power (CSP). What happens here is, that mirrors are used to concentrate the sun's rays on a fluid container. The super-heated liquid then drives turbines and makes electrickery!

Desertec is being fawned at by many, including German coalition government of Angela Merkel. Everyone is very giddy because it means the dependency on oil and Russian gas supplies could diminish. Of course, North African governments are going to be up for it as well because it means loads of money.

So that's the future of our children sorted then... unless we end up going to war with Algeria and Chad or something.

[Guardian]

TOPICS:   Utilities

11 comments

  • NellieIrrelevant
    Isn't the problem with plans like this the nigh-impossibility of transmitting electricity over such long distances? Water, oil, gas, ok - but the technology to pipe electricity six thousand miles without losing 80% of it in the process (all figures approximate ie pulled out of thin air) has yet to be perfected...
  • yer m.
    60% of the time, it works every time so shut ya fuckin face uncle fucker
  • Bullet
    Do you know that 147% of surveys are made up.
  • goon
    it isn't any problem transmitting the electricity without loss. just step up the voltage to the require level. you can send electricity 4000 miles + without it being impracticle
  • GIPPO
    load of bull
  • Guybrush T.
    Did you know 7 in 4 people have trouble with statistics? And stepping up voltages requires additional energy and also results in less efficient transformers than a smaller step up or down. Your mobile phone/ laptop transformer wastes energy as heat so you cannot just go to a gazillion volts. You also have the problem of sparking, at some point the voltage will reach a point that the difference in potential will be great enough to bridge the gap. Superconducting lines? Well, that's different! And expensive. I think they should shine all of the mirrors onto the moon and try to melt it to see if it is made from cheese :)
  • LeChuck
    Just thought I'd warn you guys, probably not a good idea to take advice from a pirate on the intricacies of Voltage Transformation. (Pay no heed to my name). Exposed, Bitch!
  • BlueBoy
    Once you have all of the cables in place a relatively small amount of electricity transferred is wasted as it is done so at a very low current.
  • David
    easy to sabotage though - shoot at some mirrors and the power supply is destroyed
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  • KALOO962283
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