Scientists detail desert solar power
Oct 31, 2006 UPI
A German study suggests
Europe can make deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions
and phase out nuclear power at the same time.
The research, commissioned by
the German government, details how Europe can simultaneously
meet all its electricity needs, cut emissions of CO2
from electricity generation by 70 percent by the year
2050, and phase out nuclear power.
The key, scientists said, is
a collaboration of European, Middle Eastern and North
African nations to take advantage of solar energy.
"Every year, each square kilometer
of desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5
million barrels of oil, said Franz Trieb, project
manager of the study. "Multiplying by the area of
deserts world-wide, this is nearly a thousand times
the entire current energy consumption of the world."
He added, "We can tap in to this
energy by using mirrors to concentrate sunlight and
create heat ... to raise steam and drive a generator
in the conventional way. This kind of 'concentrating
solar power' -- which is very different from the better-known
photovoltaic 'solar panels' -- has been producing
electricity successfully in California for nearly