The DESERTEC Concept is based on the following ideas -
- Intercontinental Transport of Renewable Energy using a High Voltage Direct Current Grid (HVDC).
- Traditonal electricity grids use Alternating Current (AC) and because they suffer from power loss can only carry electricity a few hundred miles.
- HVDC can carry electricity generated from renewables over long distances with losses of just 5 percent per 1,000 miles. In other words we can generate electricity in the Sahara and use it in London
- Renewable Energy is available in abundance and we have the technology to use it.
- All kinds of renewables will be used in the DESERTEC Concept, but the sun-rich deserts of the world play a special role.
- Every six hours the worlds deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes within a year.
- 90 percent of the world’s population lives within 3,000 km of deserts, therefore it is technologically possible to supply most of the world’s electricity using solar power.
- Concentrating solar-thermal power plants in the deserts can store the energy produced in large tanks of salt and can supply electricity on demand day and night. This makes them an ideal complement to fluctuating energy sources such as wind and photovoltaic power, which means a higher percentage of these energy resources could be used in the future electricity mix.
- DESERTEC combines energy production and climate protection with social development and security.
- DESERTEC is a comprehensive solution that not only aims to cover our increasing energy needs, but also to reduce carbon emissions before global warming gets out of control.
- It also has many benefits in terms of social development and security, such as providing fresh water by using the electricity generated to desalinate seawater.
- The fresh water can be use to produce food and revitalise the desert regions on our planet.
- Solar farms are labour intensive to build and maintain and can provide much needed employment for local people.