DESERTEC studies: AQUA-CSP

AQUA-CSP is one of three conceptual studies which explored different parts of the DESERTEC project, a concept which relies on solar power from the world’s desserts as a major energy source for Europe. In previous posts I already talked about the two other studies MED-CSP andTRANS-CSP, the first focused on generation, the second on transportation of the generated electricity. This article deals with the third, often overlooked, aspect if this undertaking: desalination of huge quantities of sea water. Continue reading “DESERTEC studies: AQUA-CSP”

DESERTEC studies: TRANS-CSP

In a previous post I wrote about MED-CSP, a study being part of the DESERTEC project which outlines a scenario for generating huge amounts of electricity by means of Concentrating Solar Power applied in the Mediterranean region. CSP stands for solar thermal power plants which do not operate with the photovoltaic effect used in solar cells, but for using the solar radiation to directly heat a medium—typically a fluid—which then is used to propel an ordinary steam turbine like used in fossil fuel or nuclear power plants.

While the last post focused on the MED-CSP study which explores the technical potential for generating electricity, this article deals with the transmission of a part of this energy to Middle and Northern Europe where it can substitute fossil fuels. Continue reading “DESERTEC studies: TRANS-CSP”

DESERTEC studies: MED-CSP

This article originates from a presentation given by Hani El Nokraschy, one of the leading persons of the DESERTEC foundation. He presented the foundation’s vision towards a sustainable generation of electrical energy and drinking water around the Mediterranean Sea for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. His presentation covered the three main studies called MED-CSP, TRANS-CSP and AQUA-CSP. CSP stands for Concentrating Solar Power and is the key technology for exploiting the huge potential of solar energy that shines on Africa’s deserts. Continue reading “DESERTEC studies: MED-CSP”

From finite to renewable energy

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Fossil resources, i.e. coal, oil and gas, are finite. This fact is not surprising, but is worth to be mentioned. Its direct consequence is that in near future we will have to be able to generate (more precisely: convert) all energy we consume from renewable sources. This need is independent from any consequences that arise from the combustion of fossil fuels (i.e. greenhouse effect). The climate change just adds another “incentive” to realise that necessary shift more quickly. This article tries to give a non-exhaustive overview over the current dependency on fossil fuels and scenarios of possible replacements. Continue reading “From finite to renewable energy”

Home (film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2009)

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Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006) was the first big documentary film that received international attention. It covered the current scientific knowledge global warming caused by the artificial greenhouse effect.

Now the film “Home” by the French director Yann Arthus-Bertrand is published. It tries not only to focus on the climate issue but to show the whole picture: exhaustion of natural resources, energy consumption, biologic diversity, pollution and the rising gap between industrialised nations and the rest of the world. Continue reading “Home (film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2009)”