Friday, 25 June 2010
Enough energy could be created to power the entire world if just one percent of the Sahara Desert were covered in concentrating solar panels. The European Union has decided to make use of this and earlier this week European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger announced that Europe will start importing solar energy from the Sahara within the next five years. The Desertec Initiative announced last year set a long-term plan of about 40 years.
The EU announced last year that they would lay a series of cables across the Mediterranean, build a series of solar power plants in the Sahara, and import renewable energy from across the sea. Financed by a group of European companies and supported by the EU government, the plan is to cover 6,500 square miles of the desert in photovoltaic systems and wind parks.
Previously it was thought that the system would take 10-15 years to start to show results. However, the EU has announced that they will complete the first part of the system within the next five years and will start importing a small amount of power as a test run before the entire initiative is finished. “I think some models starting in the next 5 years will bring some hundreds of megawatts to the European market,” Oettinger told Reuters.
Via: Reuters Africa