Clean power from deserts

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Trusting the techno-fixes

Letter in Green Futures, July 2007

In connection with Mick Hamer’s very welcome words on concentrating solar power (CSP) [‘The scrubbers, the sulphates and the sunshield solution’] I would like to correct one important point. It is quite wrong to suggest that there would be “huge transmission losses” in bringing solar electricity from North Africa to the UK. With a Europe-wide ‘supergrid’ (of highly efficient high-voltage direct current transmission lines) there would be less than 10% loss of power. This kind of grid would reduce energy wastage by allowing electricity to be moved from areas of surplus to areas of need. It would also smooth out the variability of wind power by drawing on wind across a very wide area. Finally, it would provide access to large-scale, remote sources of renewable electricity such as offshore wind, wave and tidal power.

Gerry Wolff, Desertec-UK


Last updated: 2009-08-20 (ISO 8601)