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Solar Power in the Desert

Solar Power in the Desert

Old Nov 20th 2012, 7:52 am
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Default Solar Power in the Desert

I was always curious as to why more use wasn't made of solar energy in the desert, seems the ideal place. Article on the BBC website explains all http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2012...ers-dirty-side Basically sandstorms and how to clean up afterwards was the problem which appears to have been solved. KSA plans to invest a staggering $109bn over the next 20 years into solar, with the intention of generating more than 30% of their electricity from the sun - up from practically zero today. It is all part of the government’s plan to break the country’s oil dependency and give it a long term future after the oil reserves eventually run dry.
Wow!
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Yup - Aramco are recruiting heavily at the moment for Mech Engs with Renewables experience!
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

I installed one of the largest arrays of solar panels in Riyadh, and it just doesn't work. the cleaning issue is only one side of it, the panels themselves don't last long enough to pay back their investment. There are huge losses in the system and of course energy storage isn't possible unless you convert it to some other form and then back again.
Anyhow I am all for them wasting their money on this, just its a pity they don't put it into research for answers than pursuing the existing technology.
They are already grabbing concepts of LEED (total horseshit) lean management (more horseshit especially in the middle east)and sustainable developement in a typically saudi way, by name only.

Last edited by weasel decentral; Nov 20th 2012 at 3:09 pm.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Renewables will never work here until they lift the subsidies off the tariffs.

Why produce power for 20cents/kwh when you can produce it for 3cents/kwh with non-renewables.

Plus as weasel implies, this region isn't actually that suitable for solar. Yes, it's sunny, but it's also ****ing hot and dusty. Much better in Algeria, Morocco etc.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 2:15 am
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Smile Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by mikewot View Post
It is all part of the government’s plan to break the country’s oil dependency and give it a long term future after the oil reserves eventually run dry. Wow!
They've won a geological lottery. I'm not sure there is much doubt about what will happen when oil revenues fall away.

Wasn't there a nuclear option on the table as well?
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Much better in Algeria, Morocco etc.
That'd the Desertec project that was due to be built across North Africa and supply 150MW to Europe, but it's starting to fall apart. A couple of the main technology suppliers (Bosch and Siemens I think) have pulled out, and the financial crisis in Europe means that countries like Spain are struggling to come up with the required investment - $bns in the short term and several hundred $bns in the longer term.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 3:47 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

I reckon we could capture all the hot air (read: bollocks) coming out of every single Middle Eastern country and power something with that.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 3:53 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by the_red_sheep View Post
That'd the Desertec project that was due to be built across North Africa and supply 150MW to Europe, but it's starting to fall apart. A couple of the main technology suppliers (Bosch and Siemens I think) have pulled out, and the financial crisis in Europe means that countries like Spain are struggling to come up with the required investment - $bns in the short term and several hundred $bns in the longer term.
I wasn't thinking of that specifically. But as a region, that is better able to produce power. Of course, selling it to Europe only works if the Europeans can afford it.

If they are spending billions for 150MW then the case (for not doing it) is clear.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Renewables will never work here until they lift the subsidies off the tariffs.

Why produce power for 20cents/kwh when you can produce it for 3cents/kwh with non-renewables.

Plus as weasel implies, this region isn't actually that suitable for solar. Yes, it's sunny, but it's also ****ing hot and dusty. Much better in Algeria, Morocco etc.
Unless Saudis change their way of life in regards to energy consumption / energy waste and their building strategy, i don't see these guys making a meaninfull impact with solar; the solar tech just isn't there yet in terms of efficiency.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 6:13 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Nuclear power is the way forward, if it can be judged without the scare mongering normally associated with it. The French nuclear fission project is also very interesting, (if they ever get it built) and would completely alter the energy generation business.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 6:20 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Nuclear power is the way forward, if it can be judged without the scare mongering normally associated with it. The French nuclear fission project is also very interesting, (if they ever get it built) and would completely alter the energy generation business.
For once we agree!
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 7:06 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Nuclear power is the way forward, if it can be judged without the scare mongering normally associated with it. The French nuclear fission project is also very interesting, and would completely alter the energy generation business.


I assume you mean fusion, not fission.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Nuclear power is the way forward, if it can be judged without the scare mongering normally associated with it. The French nuclear fission project is also very interesting, (if they ever get it built) and would completely alter the energy generation business.
bollocks, governments cant afford to do it properly and the private sector will always find a corner to cut to make more money. In theory I agree in practice no, it isnt the future. Anything with a lethal half life of 250,000 years can almost by definition not be safe. I agree that the business is surrounded by scaremongering but I'm also away that humans are simply not capable of planning that far ahead.
If we stopped ****ing about and actually gave governmental support to renewables in a proper way they are not only viable but THE only sensible option.

the entire global ecosystem is powered by either solar power or geothermal power, our problem isnt energy supply its energy capture, storage and transmission.

we also have to get over the obsession that solar means photovoltaic, there are numerous solar technologies and photovoltaic is the least efficient by a huge margin.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Nuclear power is the way forward, if it can be judged without the scare mongering normally associated with it. The French nuclear fission project is also very interesting, (if they ever get it built) and would completely alter the energy generation business.
Shiva beat me to it with a more rounded reply.

Mine is kindama. That's Japanese for "bollocks".

Although it has been admitted (and was well known by outsiders anyway) that cultural problems in respect of H&S and the reluctance to challenge those in authority had a major part to play in the Fukushima disaster, nonetheless Japan is populated by intelligent, diligent and resourceful people, and is a country that is unlikely to suffer physical inteference from its neighbours or from terrorists (a few religious nutters excepted). But a nuclear power plant in this part of the word? You must be joking.
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Old Nov 21st 2012, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Solar Power in the Desert

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post

I assume you mean fusion, not fission.
Sorry I got my home garage alchemy project mixed up with France
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