Impressive Desert Solar Power
It is believed that in just six hours, the world's deserts receive more energy from the sun than humans consume in a year. Take an area the size of Wales in the Sahara desert and fill it with solar panels and you could power the whole of Europe!
The move to clean renewable energy is a very important when fighting climate change. By using natural sources such as the sun, wind and tides we can create energy without creating so much pollution. At the moment we use a lot of oil, gas and coal to power our country, but there are several large North African solar projects underway working to harness the awesome power of the desert sun!
The Sahara is the largest hot desert on earth (some deserts are cold like the Gobi desert in Asia) and can reach temperatures of 50°C. Using solar photovoltaic panels with such an abundance of sunshine will produce three times more power than a PV solar panel in the UK. By the year 2050 these projects hope to generate 15% of Europe's energy through solar and wind power. There are a few problems to solve first such as how to stop sand causing damage to the solar panels. Cleaning them daily uses up a lot of water - something that isn't common in the desert! But if technology can solve some of these problems then we will be doing a big favour to the world. Who knew the desert could be green?Read More: Deserts and the Effects of Humans