Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Aug 22

African Solar Could Power all of Europe

Posted in Energy Industry | Energy Politics | Solar Power

African Solar Power Mediterranean Union was launched by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in concurrence with the European Union. This new international organization will include sixteen non-EU states from around the Mediterranean and all the twenty seven EU countries will be its member too. But why are we discussing political unions in an alternative energy site? Because Mediterranean Union will not only tackle various issues such as regional upheavals, trade, counter terrorism, security immigration pollution etc. but the organization will take up the energy issue too.

As usual people are reacting in skeptical manner saying that Sarkozy wants to trade nuclear power expertise with North African gas reserves. But some are thinking in a positive way too, for instance, the possibilities of solar energy generation. They think that the Union can help a lot in trapping the solar potential of the African nations and transferring that energy to Europe. Scientists from the various European countries are planning for a new supergrid on the sharing basis for member states. The supergrid will use new DC (HVDC- high voltage direct current) lines for the transmissions of power over long distances. Energy losses in DC lines are far less than the AC lines. Denmark and UK can export wind energy and Iceland can export geothermal energy whenever they have surplus energy. But the supergrid’s main function would be to send out renewable solar energy from the Saharan desert to Europe. The scientists want to build a series of huge solar farms in the Saharan desert and connect them to the supergrid.

The grid proposal was seconded by Nicholas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown. This proposal tries to answer the skeptics who claim that renewable power will never be economically viable because the weather is quite unpredictable. This proposal tries to cancel out that element of unpredictability if the wind is not blowing hard enough in the North Sea, it will be blowing somewhere else in Europe, or the sun will be shining on a solar farm somewhere.

Scientists are enthusiastic about harnessing the Sahara solar rays because the sunlight in this area is more intense: solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in northern Africa could generate up to three times the electricity compared with similar panels in northern Europe. The project will take huge investment in terms of time and money. The estimated cost would be €450 billion. By 2050 scientists are thinking of generating 100 GW from the Saharan desert. Much of the money will be used in developing the infrastructure for grid networks. If high voltage cables between North Africa and Italy would be built or existing cables between Spain and Morocco would be used, the infrastructure of these countries too will need restructuring.

  • Proff. Pit

    The Sahara desert will be the greates energy source to Europe, not only energy from light of the sun, infrared, x rays, ultraviolet too, and the energy that come as particles (ions)

  • Joseph Caruana

    The grid will obviously be as close to the communities as possible And this would be a good incentive for businesses where here they would find the cheapest of electricity.

    Apart from that enterprises could start operating Hydrogen fuel plants to then distribute this liquid for other countries. The idea of an extended would lead to too much waste by the time the electricity arrives to destination.

  • sol

    Sounds good so long as at least half the energy goes to Africa first.

  • Harhammer

    Solarcompany iKratos goes Afrika.

    iKratos founds a corporation, with people from the country in West Africa. Therefore the cooperation with Africa is considered and iKratos Solarcompany Africa S.A. develops with it the presence at the African market. iKratos already expels since 1998 solar components. The very growing enterprise iKratos supplies with his components and engineering about own distribution network excluding local authority districts and private individuals who guarantee a high quality of the installed arrangements “made in germany”. The engineering and the planning comes from Germany. With this high-class claim is iKratos the enterprise for in the very expanding mobile telecommunication market and the missing solar water supplies for Africa, very high-quality arrangements are offered in the African market. iKratos Africa also supplies hospitals. In the second step it is planned to supply mobile radio communication systems with self-sufficient stream arrangements the second pivot leg from iKratos. Manager from iKratos Africa S.A. becomes Willi Harhammer. More informations under

    Sunny greetings from germany,

    Willi Harhammer ( CEO )

  • Tommy Sand

    The current African power demand might not be that high. Instead, reimbursing the Saharan countries economically would enable them to improve on quality of water supplies etc. elsewhere in Africa.

    Besides, it should be up to the countries themselves to determine how to handle this amount of energy (the Mediterranean Union would most likely handle it, of course). Whether they want energy or money shouldn’t be the issue.

    The idea to actually harness this energy is great, and should be carried out for sure.

  • Matthew Bulat

    North Africa has the world equal highest solar radiation quantity. This translates into better return on investment for solar. Solar thermal on a large scale is more cost effective than PV. Approximately 146 MW peak per square kilometre could be generated. Yearly output per square km would be approximately 640,000 MWh.

  • Mark Jones

    How good it could be if coupled with power production during the day if these same solar panels could be designed to harvest atmospheric water by condensation at night and maybe help to eventually green the desert.
    Next step trees?
    Mark Jones
    MD Green Energy Gas Engines P/L

  • Mike Maybury

    This concept needs to allow for the needs of Africa as well as Europe. It needs to be linked with development of Africa over the next 50 years. If done well it should provide work and living opportunities in Africa and increase their and our security. Over time infrastructure equivalent to that which we have in Europe should follow, offering employment and opportunities for the whole continent.

Family-sized Solar Car to Race in World Solar Challenge


Solar Team Great Britain has started a kickstarter page to help fund their design for entry in the 2017 World Solar Challenge. Founder Steven Heape leads a team of volunteers

Floating Solar Panels: A Viable Solution?


Since 2011, French Company Ciel & Terre has been developing large-scale floating solar solutions. Their innovative Hydrelio Floating PV system allows standard PV panels to be installed on large bodies

Tulip Shaped Solar Plants to be Installed in Ethiopia


AORA Solar has announced that it will begin construction of its solar-biogas power plants in Ethiopia. Construction of the first pilot plant will start by mid-2015. Ethiopia’s Minister of Water,

3D Printed Solar Energy Trees


How would nature do it? Researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland may be discovering the answer, thanks to advancing solar and 3D printing technologies. They have developed

The Benefits of Solar Power (Infographic)

Solar Power World Map

Home Inspector Bill Barber recently created an excellent infographic that details how solar panels can power homes and help the environment at the same time. According to the infographic,

Oriental Hornet: Expert Solar Power Harvester

Oriental Hornet: Expert Solar Power Harvester

Do you know who is the most competent solar power expert, according to a research team from Tel Aviv University? It is the humble common Oriental hornet found

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Greenest Destination in New York City

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Greenest Destination in New York City

New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park is getting even greener with the addition of a solar powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station – the first of its kind in

Artificial Electronic Super Skin – Powered By Stretchable Solar Cells

Artificial Electronic Super Skin – Powered By Stretchable Solar Cells

Zhenan Bao, Stanford researcher, is keen to create “Super skin.” Taking her previously created super-sensitive sensor a step ahead, she is now creating a super skin that will be