Here’s a fascinating piece from Saudi Gazette. It reports on efforts to create an energy grid that encompasses Europe and much of the Middle East, from North Africa to the Gulf. This region, in addition to the various oil fields, is also an area that receives intense solar radiation. That radiation can be captured and converted into power; that power can be transmitted to other areas. The article notes that 0.4% of the radiation falling on the area would meet all of Europe’s energy demands.
The article reports that the Saudis are very interested in this proposal. Definitely worth reading!
RIYADH – In the wake of the first Gulf War, the US Army assessed Saudi Arabia’s solar energy resource potential in a classified effort to determine how oil fires had affected the region.
The results were clear and surprising. In addition to being a vast petroleum repository, the Kingdom was also the heart of the most potentially productive region on the planet for harvesting power from the sun
Sitting in the center of the so-called Sun Belt, the Kingdom is part of a vast, rainless region reaching from the western edge of North Africa to the eastern edge of Central Asia that boasts the best solar energy resources on Earth. With the cost of oil skyrocketing, this belt is attracting the attention of a growing number of European leaders, who are embracing an ambitious proposal to harvest this solar energy for their nations.
The developed world again turns to the less developed countries in hopes of powering their economies.
The Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation, or TREC, is the brainchild of a consortium led by the controversial Club of Rome and includes influential members like the German Aerospace Bureau and several universities in Europe and the Middle East.
TREC is spearheading an initiative to build a so-called transmission supergrid by concentrating solar thermal power plants, wind turbines and long distance power lines to supply energy to Europe.
The proposed power plants would simultaneously provide energy to seawater desalination plants in the Middle East and North Africa.