I agree with most of the comments. I think that the African countries will have a good (or any) negotiating power if the project starts. It will be win-win situation for both Europe and Africa as Ms. Daisy rightly say. The project will decrease Europe's depence on fossile fuel and gas. But i am bit worried about the feasibility of such projects as they need lot of cooperation and understanding between nations and continents.
The key statement is "if it is wisely exploited". Many of Africa's resources are not wisely exploited. I hope the North Africans will do a better job than the Oil rich Africa nations whose people are impoverished while the leaders are living in great wealth.
This is North Africa's opportunity for infrastructure development and hopefully better maintenance negotiations. We have to many "white elephants" all over Africa that have fallen to disrepair because of lack of back up maitenance plans and poor development of local human resources to keep the projects going.
If it all goes well it will be a win-win situation!
Tioluwa, Europe is not just providing energy for itself. It is estimated that Solar energy installation covering less than 1percent of the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East would produce enough electricity to cover the needs of those in the regions, as well as Europe.
To me this is a development programme for the North African countries and Europe. It is an intelligent answer not only to the global environmental issues but the economic problems, if it is wisely exploited.
Thanks for the post Young. All countries over the globe are worrying about renewable energy sources as the oil sources fading away, United States also increased their investment in solar power after facing the BP oil spill in the gulf of louisiana. Solar power generation and transportation from Africa's Sahara desert will serve the needs of all africa, european people.
Violet, you have raised an important issue here. This is a joint project that involves many African and European countries working in partnership to meet their power needs and also for export. In order for the project to work a lot of infrastructure will have to be put in place and this is of benefit to the African countries too.
This is an interesting development and to a greater percentage sad and annoying to me(please pardon my bias, i'm an african)
from off-shore wind farms, now to cross-continental solar farms, Europe is really working hard at providing enough energy for itself.
This report mentions at least 3 European contries who are intersted, states that investors are queuing up, but only mentions one African Country, but we know the desert cuts across the entire Northern africa with at least six countries.
it's not the money that africa lacks, its the will and the vision to do it.
If the project doesn't put at least the african counties who own the land into consideration, then i don't see it getting off the ground. Even if North africa can't pull itself together for a project like this, will it then sell its Desert to feed Europe? i don't think so.
You are not simple minded regarding this. Your suggestion makes perfect sense -to first ensure Africa's energy needs, then move on to fulfill the needs of other countries, unfortunately investors goals are to make returns on the amount invested.
North Africa had the sun all these time but too poor to develop the technology to harness it. Hopefully the leaders of the North African countries will work deals to benefit from the sun's harvest.
As per my knowledge , California which enjoys more sunshine than othe states of America has installed large solar farms with solar concentrators . If I remember correctly, the Mojave desert ( it lies somewhere on the way to Las vegas ) has large solar farms. The technology being used here is having large solar concentrators genrating enough heat to generate steam . This steam is used to run steam turbines to generate electricity.
As far as the transportation of generated energy from the Sahara desert is concerned, there could be another way to it . Rather than transporting the raw electricity using the transmission system which requires huge infrastructure investments and where transmission losses could eat up more than 30 to 40 % of the genrated electricity, would it be advisable to have battery manufacturing plants in the desert and use the solar energy to charge the batteries? This stored energy can be easily transported to all parts of the Europe without any loss in between.
I wonder what the capacity for manufacture of photoelectric materials is today. Back of the envelope says Saharan surface area is 100 million billion square centimeters. Given this and the current output of photoelectrics, it should be straightforward to figure the scale of investment needed to get something like this going, just from the standpoint of electronics.
It seems that the first solution would be to ensure the plan works and provide Africa's energy needs THEN move on to fulfill the needs of other countries. Am I just being too simple-minded about the energy solution? I guess though if it is European countries providing the funding then they want to see the energy source come to Europe first rather than Africa.....and Africa does not have the funding to tap into the energy source - am I figuring this correctly? But what a solution if it could work! And where is the U.S. in all of this? Are we just falling behind, depending on oil as usual?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.