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Torygraph

Instead of direct photovoltaic, they're using mirrors to capture sunlight heat to boil water and run steam turbine generators.

It'll be good if it works...

This is old technology, but good technology. There is a German consortium planning on doing it on a huge scale in Africa and bringing the power back to Europe.

No doubt here in the UK it will be claimed it will not be possible, until the project is complete, when the Germans will then sell the power to us.

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This is old technology, but good technology. There is a German consortium planning on doing it on a huge scale in Africa and bringing the power back to Europe.

No doubt here in the UK it will be claimed it will not be possible, until the project is complete, when the Germans will then sell the power to us.

Yes, Spain has a few already too. Good, simple technology. IMO, this is the best area of business to head into for the Spanish and will also give them a growing energy independence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Spain

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This is old technology, but good technology. There is a German consortium planning on doing it on a huge scale in Africa and bringing the power back to Europe.

Yes, it's called Desertec:

http://www.desertec.org/

For an interesting video see 'Made in Germany':

http://dw-world-od.streamfarm.net/Events/m...desertec_sd.mp4

'Desertec -- Electricity from the Desert for Europe':

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4458956,00.html

The idea of tapping into the power of the sun over the Sahara desert and using it to provide Europe with energy is a brilliant one. Now 20 large German companies want to get together and turn it into reality with investments of several hundred billion euros.

The aim of the project is to build solar power plants in the desert and then transport the electricity produced there over the Mediterranean, turning North Africa into an energy exporter. Many big German companies have agreed to participate, including the electricity giant EON, engineering firm Siemens, the reinsurer Munich Re, Deutsche Bank and solar power plant makers Solarmillenium. They want to meet on 13 July for an exploratory session. Germany is keen to cut emissions, so this desert electricity project fits well into the scheme of things. But it's a project with lots of unknowns. Made in Germany reporter Joachim Eggers asks Siemens, Solarmillenium and the founder of the Desertec project, physicist Gerhard Knies, if it is really technically possible to provide all of Europe's electricity needs with solar power from the Sahara. And who is really going to benefit?

desertecsummary.jpg

Edited by CrashConnoisseur

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met a bloke who made solar ovens out of cardboard boxes and foil... reckoned he could get 300degrees in a reasonable british summer.... surely that should be a good start

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was on tv not long ago, James May's Big Ideas... not his obviously, but he went to a solar furnace place, which was just a big collection of mirrors pointing at a specific point to generate massive heat. http://sciencestage.com/v/589/sience-james...emperature.html

altho not in this clip, he later went to see another development which was using parabolic mirrors to direct the sun into a heat/power converter... pretty cheap and very effective even if your not in the middle of a dessert

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How can you cancel something that doesn't exist?

Easy, you stop paying the people who aren't doing anything about it. V. the War on Drugs.

Though Climate Change does exist - there are lots of things about we don't know, but anyone whose watched the glaciers melt and the polar ice retreat has seen climate change at work. (Unless you believe that it was done by evil Russian submarines or Little Green Men - no doubt there are Yanks who do. But then vast numbers of them think that there's no proof that men ever went to the moon, that they have been abducted by aliens, that Prince Philip is the real ruler of Great Britain via a mysterious body called the Privy Council, that George Bush is an honest straight-talking guy - some of them even think that Jeb Bush should be the next president of the US.)

db

Edited by deeplyblue

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How can you cancel something that doesn't exist?

For agwophiles that's easy.

Invent an imaginary danger, set out to save us from it, and then when they are fed up of that game, declare the danger cancelled.

Us agwaphobes will just have to put up with tin foil boxes and windmills littering up the place, until some nuclear power stations are built.

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altho not in this clip, he later went to see another development which was using parabolic mirrors to direct the sun into a heat/power converter... pretty cheap and very effective even if your not in the middle of a dessert

If its the same program I saw, I think the solar collector in the desert was going to be used for hydrogen production. Visible light has enough energy to split water.

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The solar plants in Spain look gorgeous. Drove past them this year on a roadtrip around Europe.

Massive pillars of light hundreds of metres long stretching up to the top of a skyscraper. They look like something out of a sci-fi movie.

If they wanted to make a real spectacle out of it they could set up a sprinkler system for instant shimmering rainbows. Bit of a waste in the middle of the desert naturally, but a coastal one could pull it off. :)

Pointless even proposing any big-scale alternative energy project in this country, the nimbys will kill it off.

As always, solar is not a complete solution, unless we set up a global electricity grid. Same with wind, humanity's bickering gets in the way of progress.

Edited by DementedTuna

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Pointless even proposing any big-scale alternative energy project in this country, the nimbys will kill it off.

All power to the nimbys then.

Agwaphobes after my own heart.

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How can you cancel something that doesn't exist?

It doesn't matter. Something like this is worth developing whether AGW exists or not. Compared to fossil fuel or nuclear energy sources solar is cheap, extremely clean, won't ever run out, and abundant. Also new(ish) ideas like this are increasing the efficiency of solar all the time.

Use this for more of our energy needs and we can pollute less, extract less, and save what's left of the fossil fuels for the uses where we have fewer alternatives - chemical feedstocks, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers etc. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up cheaper as well.

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This is old technology, but good technology. There is a German consortium planning on doing it on a huge scale in Africa and bringing the power back to Europe.

No doubt here in the UK it will be claimed it will not be possible, until the project is complete, when the Germans will then sell the power to us.

we'll just supply the leveraged finance...

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Solar is cheap, extremely clean, won't ever run out, and abundant.

It's also unreliable, can't be produced on demand, uses about the same ammount of resources as what it saves, and is not a universal solution to power needs now, or in the future.

Nuclear is cheap, extremely clean, won't ever run out and can do what no RE's can. Produce reliable power on demand 24/7.

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Pointless even proposing any big-scale alternative energy project in this country, the nimbys will kill it off.

mainly the ramblers association

unless we set up a global electricity grid. Same with wind, humanity's bickering gets in the way of progress.

why would nimbyism stop undersea cables?> they're already happening...

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It's also unreliable, can't be produced on demand, uses about the same ammount of resources as what it saves, and is not a universal solution to power needs now, or in the future.

Nuclear is cheap, extremely clean, won't ever run out and can do what no RE's can. Produce reliable power on demand 24/7.

Nobody is suggesting a move to solar-only. But it could and should be a much more significant part of the mix.

Nuclear is only cheap if you don't factor in the cost of decommissioning and clearing up the waste.

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Torygraph

Instead of direct photovoltaic, they're using mirrors to capture sunlight heat to boil water and run steam turbine generators.

It'll be good if it works...

hmm; in the best case in Sahara you get 500W of sun energy per m2.

the steam engine efficiency is max 30%

to replace a single 2GW electric power plant you would need about 13 million m2 of mirrors. let's assume you need some space around the mirrors so you would need about 26 km2 of land with the mirrors, what is about 5km times 5km

you will need a lot of material and maintanance to keep it running as well

and there is a small problem when you get clouds or sand storms

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