Not long ago an acquaintance reminded me of the “Desertec Project which is an effort to install a high-yield solar electrical grid in the deserts of North Africa.” This is where they will set up a grid spanning around the Mediteranian, through the countries of N. Africa, and all of Europe too. All connected producing electricity, and the system will include almost all alternative energy, rather including nuclear along the grid, but mostly it is focused on Solar and Wind, and some Geothermal too.
And in this scheme they will desalinate water as well, If you’d like to learn more you can watch the Discovery Channel Special on this. I’ve even listened to a TED Conference Speaker give the run down on it. Also met with a Chemistry Nobel Prize winner, who is actually a physicist explain it all; Dr. Walter Kohn. He gave a great slide show presentation on it all. Pretty large undertaking, and tying in all the desalination, water issues, solar and wind, geothermal, hydro and nuclear power is impressive.
With regards to the Desertec scheme, I would be concerned with nuclear, as I believe Algeria, Libya will be future problems in the nuclear proliferation space. And yes, the storage of spent fuel rods is a problem, although there is some new technology on the horizon to re-use most of the rest in a new innovative reactor scheme. Bill Gate’s Foundation has invested in this technology. I am personally pro-Nuclear for energy, and ocean wave. Not too impressed with wind and waiting for better technology and efficiency in solar to take hold, lots of R and D is helping now, and much would be rushed to market once proven. I mean the Aztecs were not as stupid as they looked, worshipping the Sun seems like a hot idea?
The Concept seems interesting, massive, a giant grid spanning two continents, it’s a cool idea. Quite futuristic, however, I am not a Global Warming Alarmist by any means, but agree we need to watch the pollution discharges; ocean dead zones, air quality, water quality, etc. No matter what you think of this 500 Billion Euro to 1 Trillion Euro project, it could bring energy to a massive population without polluting, which is the aim of the project. If they were to pull it all off and it could easily take 20-years to complete, it would be a great way to unite all those countries in a common cause for a good reason. So please consider all this.