How the Middle East is turning to the sun for energy

When one thinks of the Middle East nowadays, oil comes to mind. But with solar photovoltaic booming right now all around the region and beyond, this might not be the case in twenty or thirty years.

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Could we reforest the Sahara desert ?

Is this the key to afforestation projects in arid or desert areas ? As hundreds of billion of trees have to be planted over the next decades to avert climate change, the question is of tremendous importance. As Cleantechnica reports, the Gulf state of Qatar is experimenting an interesting project – the Sahara Forest Project … Read more

Saudi Arabia to invest massively in cleantech

Yes, you read that right : the oil superpower is willing to tap into its significant solar potential by installing no less than 41 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2032. The project is estimated to cost $109 billion (84 billion euros).

Out of the 41 GW of capacity, 16 will be brought by solar photovoltaic (PV) and the remaining 25 will be coming from Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). This will be a smart use of the Kingdom’s huge deserts.

As Green Prophet notes the project will enable the country to save half a million barrels of oil per day. Solar would then account for a third of the electricity production.

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Solar power plants face problems in California

During my daily hours of ride in the trains to go and come back from the job I read books but also newspapers. This allowed me to read a great article in the New York Times about an unexpected problem with solar power plants in California. ” Just weeks after regulators approved the last of … Read more

UN launches the Decade for Deserts

The United Nations are launching the Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, an effort to improve the protection and management of the world’s drylands, home to over two billion people. Drylands take up 41 percent of the land surface and are threatened by multiple factors such as soil degradation, climate change and unsustainable … Read more

Desertification spreads faster and faster

One of the many worrying consequences of climate change and global warming is desertification. To an expert it is currently spreading like cancer in the Middle East and in NorthAfrica. Indeed, to data provided by The United Nations Development Programme’s 2009 Arab Human Development Report desertification is threatening 2.8 million square kilometers of land in … Read more

Concentrating solar needs huge amounts of water

A solar thermal plant in a desertConcentrating Solar Thermal is a fantastic energy source and some experts estimate that it could answer a quarter of the global electricity needs by 2050 if large plants were installed in sunny deserts.

However the New York Times notes that this energy source use significant amounts of water. Since this resource is already scarce in these areas this energy source already triggers tensions.

This is a further example of how no energy source is perfect and that energy efficiency and conservation are absolutely vital to our civilization.

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Fighting desertification matters

Today is the World Day to Combat Desertification, an initiative raising awareness about this important phenomenon which decreases the amount of water, food and place available to both Nature and Mankind. As the UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner noted: “Land degradation threatens nearly a billion people in some 100 countries and it is estimated that … Read more

A quarter of global electricity can be provided by solar thermal by 2050

A solar thermal plant in a desertI was writing in a comment that solar thermal could and even should provide electricity to the nations of  the Middle East and how it would much better than nuclear. It seems I was quite right.

Published by an environmental NGO and various official bodies specialized in solar energy, a study notes that concentrated solar power (CSP) in deserts could bring a quarter of the global electricity by mid-century.

To date, CSP provides a mere 430 MW worldwide but things could change fast as this energy offers multiple advantages such as virtually zero greenhouse gases emissions.

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