Or, “how to make pie in the sky using our simple recipe”. From the New Scientist, making solar power is just as easy as building a few factories in the middle of the Sahara Desert and then making solar cells out of the sand to make electricity, which will be transported around the planet by a supercooled superconductor transmission system. Gosh, impressive, and easy as pie. Watch the video below to see just how easy it all is.
The Sahara Solar Breeder Project is a joint initiative by universities in Japan and Algeria that aims to build enough solar power stations by 2050 to supply 50 per cent of the energy used by humanity.
The idea is to begin by building a small number of silicon manufacturing plants in the Sahara, each turning the desert sand into the high-quality silicon needed to build solar panels. Once those panels are operating, some of the energy they generate will be used to build more silicon plants, each churning out more solar panels and generating more energy that can be used to build even more plants, and so on.
Hideomi Koinuma at the University of Tokyo leads the Japanese end of the project. He admits that making silicon panels from the rough sands of the Sahara or other deserts has not been attempted before, but says it is a logical choice.
“From the viewpoints of quality, quantity and chemistry, Sahara sand is hard to beat for use as silicon for solar cells,” he says.
Koinuma wants to use “high-temperature” superconductors to distribute the power as direct current – more efficient than a conventional alternating current. Despite their name, high-temperature superconductors typically operate at around -240 °C, and the long power lines will require a formidable cooling system.