In a world exhausted of fossil fuels, solar panels can provide a sustainable solution to our energy problem. (Crazy Thoughts) But they also come with a couples of issues. For one solar farm are massive, and they have to be set up somewhere that gets a lot of sunlight. Now, if only we had large mass of unused land that gets guaranteed sunlight everyday… hmm…
Is it possible to cover an entire desert in Solar panels?
Would that be enough to power the whole world?
This is what would happen if we covered the Sahara Desert with solar panels. If we covered just 1.2 percent of the Sahara Desert in solar panels, we could harness enough power to meet the energy needs of the entire world.
How could this project change the desert’s climate?
Usually, a solar farm is built to prevent changes to the environment, but if weworld government plan to build one in the Sahara. (Crazy Thoughts) It might cause some changes of its own. If we lined the desert floor with giant solar panels, it would double the rainfall in the region and increase vegetation cover by about 20 percent. Sound little unbelievable? Well, let me explain.
Saharan sand is unusually light in color, which means it tends to reflect a lot of light and heat back up into the air and If we covered whole Sahara desert with solar panels, it will absorbed more sun, and the ground temperature would increase. (Crazy Thoughts) Warmer air rises to areas in the atmosphere where it’s cooler, and the moisture there condenses and falls as rain. Because you knew it, one of the most extreme climates on Earth would undergo a significant makeover.
How would we overcome with the geopolitical and the financial condition obstacles involve?
So, if these solar panels would not only provide us with sustainable energy solutions, but also it adds much needed greenery to our largest desert, then what are we waiting for? Shouldn’t we go out there building these things already? Well, it’s little more complicated than that. For one thing, it’s great to produce enough energy to power the world, but then you must worry about how you’re going to get it to everyone. The most likely place this energy would first travel to Europe. Exporting sustainable energy would do great things for a lot of African economies, but would they have the means to do it?
Currently, electrical grids in Africa aren’t very reliable, and they’d need power lines of around 800-3,000 km (500 to 2,000 miles) to get where they needed to go. Transporting power over long distances leads to power loss of up to 10%. This means that an already expensive project would get much pricier. And where would all the money come from?
As we know, Africa is a home to quite a few unstable governments, the kind that raise some pretty big red flags with investors to invest their multi-billion-dollar in project like this one. (Crazy Thoughts) On the top of that, this would be a long-term project, so there be a lot of moving parts. Several countries would have to be involved, and any one of them might see a changing political landscape over the years, that could disrupt, or put an end to the whole thing.
As great as this project would be, it would probably be better to attempt it on a small scale first. Maybe solar panels could be used to power small African villages and help to spread access to electricity. So, that sounds like a story for another thinks to know story.
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