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The Problem with Solar Energy in Africa

  • Published on Oct 22, 2021
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Comments • 12 309

  • rage4dorder
    rage4dorder 7 months ago +7368

    150 million * 592 is a bit more than 8.9 billion $

    • SioxerNikita
      SioxerNikita 11 days ago

      @going home Even in Engineering sometimes you have to simplify, especially for a video. Everything in the world is incredibly multi variable.

    • SioxerNikita
      SioxerNikita 11 days ago

      @Arcisle solar panels are much more expensive, requires more maintenance and far more prone to breaking

    • Fariz Arif Khan
      Fariz Arif Khan 15 days ago

      @Real Engineering Who said that they were gonna connect the power to europe? I mean you could've included the middle eastern countries

    • Dan-The-Man
      Dan-The-Man 16 days ago

      What an arrogant answer to a mistake.

    • 1wor1d
      1wor1d 24 days ago

      @Real Engineering At least your engineering calculation only effected a video,
      unlike that NASA metric /imperial miscalculation that lost a $125 million Mars orbiter.

  • Mark Jones
    Mark Jones 7 months ago +4451

    I’m in Australia and there’s a big factor that you’ve missed. Ironically, panels don’t work as well in extreme heat. Sun light = good, extreme heat = bad.

    • Skeptical
      Skeptical 2 days ago

      Thats not even solar panel based. More like mirror to focus light in the tower that heats up the molten salt than used to heat water and then used to move the generatot etc..

    • bp968
      bp968 8 days ago

      @Sam Hamsord what winds? The entire reason we have problems with mars rovers using solar panels is due to the *lack* of wind and the fact that the super low moisture makes the dust "stick" to the panels.

    • Cesar Jed Guico
      Cesar Jed Guico 9 days ago

      @Krzysztof Bobkowski or do it at night so it's cold

    • CatInTheHat
      CatInTheHat 9 days ago

      @Wilfred Teo he makes many claims of what will come so it's not a solar issue but a elon issue

    • Freedom Song
      Freedom Song 9 days ago

      @mangothing but if you plant vegetation under the panels you'll be reducing desert sands that blow into the Americas and that sand is used to sustain the soil in those tropical countries in the Caribbean

  • Rick the Swift
    Rick the Swift 3 months ago +92

    Great video. I was surprised to learn that DC is actually better over very long distances than AC- something that seems to contradict much of what we are taught regarding the two systems. Very informative, and all points were clear and relevant. Good job!

    • Nicolas M.
      Nicolas M. 9 days ago +1

      @Bug Stomper the opposite. Losses are smaller in DC, but the substations are way more expensive than AC stations. Therefore, the longer the line, the more the reduction of losses can compensate the extra cost of the substation. Typically, the required distance is in the order of >600 km for overhead lines and >40 km for underground/submarine cables. Anything below that, AC is more likely to be more cost-efficient.

    • Nicolas M.
      Nicolas M. 9 days ago

      @CRL Games thanks for reading and for your questions! It's hard to say what the future will bring, but I'd say neither AC nor DC is more "future proof" than the other. Each technology has its pros and cons, and their specific domains where they're more convenient than the other.
      For instance, the main advantages of DC are more related to its controllability and its efficiency over long distances (>600 km for overhead lines and >40 km for underground/submarine cables). Anything below those thresholds, AC will be the best option. Therefore, the future of DC is probably more in the construction of huge continental/transcontinental high voltage grids (HVDC) and the massive integration of renewable energies (which are typically very far away from the consumers).
      Smart grids would be an interesting option for local distribution in DC, but I think that's still a few decades away from being effectively implemented. And AC works great for distribution.
      As for AC, AC is simple, cheap (at least compared to DC) and we've worked with it for over a century now, so we have a very good level of expertise all over the world. I can't imagine any reason why any of that would change. In addition, any power source working with rotating machines will produce energy in AC.
      So I think AC and DC are more likely to coexist in the near AND far future as well, each in the domains and applications where they excel the most.

    • CRL Games
      CRL Games 9 days ago

      @Nicolas M. Wow that's a lot of information to digest. Thanks for that. But is DC more "future proof" than AC? I would figure DC is more efficient but is not very flexible when it comes to changes(to the power supply layout and general development of an area), am I right? Maintenance is also always an issue with underground cables and since DC is more effective underground than in the air, I would figure the overall costs of operations will go up the longer we use DC for local transmission.

    • Bug Stomper
      Bug Stomper 10 days ago

      You mean AC is better over long distances than DC.

  • Louis Mwobobia
    Louis Mwobobia 2 months ago +64

    Excellent video, very imformative and well researched.
    However, it should have been titled 'The Problem with Solar Energy in Africa for Europe' as the video did not really address solar energy in Africa in general.

    • Binyameen Khan
      Binyameen Khan 9 hours ago

      @Chieh Hsu ye the guy literally just went from Sahara to Europe n it seemed like his main concern was getting the energy to Europe like bro rlly put me off

    • Chieh Hsu
      Chieh Hsu 3 days ago +2

      I thought the same thing. I came in expecting to see what is wrong with solar power in africa for africa, but this video turned out to be about Europe instead. Highly disappointed tbh

    • Micah Holt
      Micah Holt 10 days ago

      He touched on this racist Eurocentric problem at the end of the video.

    • Stettafire
      Stettafire 14 days ago +4

      TBH it should just be "the problem with desertech"

    • Gustavo Monteiro
      Gustavo Monteiro 15 days ago +4

      I thought about that too. I would like to know what are down points of this plan for North Africa and the power distribution to sub-Saharan countries.

  • Shahida Pakistani
    Shahida Pakistani 3 months ago +8

    Very interesting. The policy change to recognise the priority of local needs to be satisfied along with the international need, is an approach that will not only reduce the existing global disparities and sense of exploitation that bedevils development, but will make international cooperation look more beneficial and will be welcomed. Great video.

  • Jacques Francois
    Jacques Francois 4 months ago +7

    It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on these enw green hydrogen projects that EU countries want to build in Africa

  • SeanHodgins
    SeanHodgins 7 months ago +788

    Machine learning and power systems management is a huge topic of research right now that doesn't seem to make an appearance often in public spaces. If you're looking to get into AI stuff, its a really interesting topic, but also insanely complex.

    • Stettafire
      Stettafire 14 days ago

      @James kioi A good book

    • lopezfam
      lopezfam Month ago

      Dios te bendiga y Dios bendiga a Todos los que estan leyendo esto! Deseo que tengan un hermoso dia! Buscad a Dios mientras pueda ser hallado! Jesus es el camino y el unico camino y regresa pronto! Recuerda cuando te sientas que no eres amado... el mayor sacrificio se hizo por amor! EL SUICIDIO NUNCA ES LA RESPUESTA!
      Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna.
      S. Juan 3:16 RVR1960
      La paga del pecado es muerte (infierno) pero Cristo pagó nuestra deuda en la cruz para nuestra salvacion! Debemos volvernos a Dios y apartarnos de nuestros caminos pecaminosos, confesar que Jesús es el Señor y creer con nuestro corazón que fue resucitado de entre los muertos por Dios, y debemos de ser bautizados en el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo y vivir por Su palabra y mandamientos! Confia que Dios ayudara con el resto!
      Busca a Dios, antes de que sea muy tarde! Hoy podria ser tu ultimo dia en la tierra!
      Que tengas un hermoso dia!

    • Jon
      Jon 3 months ago

      @Aaron D like any buzz words, there is rush to jump on the bandwagon and hence the terms get over used to the point that they even get used when they don't actually fit. The fact that there are simple examples (both for actual ML and for overuses of the term) doesn't mean the subject lacks complexity, it just means you're unaware of the complexities.
      As for the idea of self coding being nothing new, of course not but there's a big difference between a dream of being able to do something and actually being able to do something in practice.

    • James kioi
      James kioi 3 months ago

      where can one learn about ai

    • M P
      M P 4 months ago

      It is most feasible method.
      Humans man powered resources alone can not sustain such massive area of solar panels, or even able to build them at first.

  • VX
    VX 17 days ago +2

    This was an amazing video, thanks again!! I really hope Morocco builds a solar panel system like this to stop exploitation from western powers and that we can build sustainable power generation to stop the climate disaster.

  • Florian Maire
    Florian Maire 4 months ago +1

    You've got a solid point there. Besides I can't help but notice that boone is even considering building this infrastructure to power Africa: it's a lot more people than Europeans, and they want electricity to power their advancements too.. and rightly so.
    On a secondary point: Germany is currently running a real world sized experiment to produce CH4 from a wind farm. I understand the "H" comes from water so there's that but I wonder: pipeline, and gas terminals are already in place (thinking Algeria mostly: Lybia is not stable enough yet to build up a joint venture there). Gas could be sold to anyone on earth from there. Looks like a good bet for an investment...

  • Rexalon
    Rexalon 4 months ago +9

    This video was very concise and informative. However I strongly oppose with the sharp sentiment of it being imperial exploitation. It is very unfair to the countries who were looking into it., which is esentially an infrastrcutre project.
    For one, scrapping the plans makes sense given the reasons you presented. It is not a proof of ill will as you try to convey. Why keep going with a plan that would be risky, expensive and damaging to the local enivironment? If one intents to invest into the desert countries, it makes much more sense to invest into their industry directly, instead of keeping some nonsensical projects alive. And maybe we would have not known of the water consumption problems if it wasn't properly investigated in this format.
    Second of all, the investigation into the feasibilty requires funding and many well educated scientists and engineers. The local countries could maybe still recycle the research made and lessons learned for their own energy generation in the future. It doesn't only benefit the comissioning countries.

  • Kay Neahnung
    Kay Neahnung Month ago

    I think that at least part of the energy excess could be used to create green hydrogen or even eFuels, also decarbonization comes to mind - the countries could sell certificates - they pull out CO2 from the atmosphere and sell certificates for that which other countries or companies could by for their (current) consumption of carbon based energy.

  • HAL DoNotDisplay
    HAL DoNotDisplay 7 months ago +968

    I really haven't seen another critical issue addressed: after the first sandstorm, solar production of sandblasted glass drops precipitously. How can panels survive the constant wind-borne abrasion?

    • JoeDotPHP
      JoeDotPHP 5 days ago

      @Hexazalea You're referring to sand, not Americans, correct?

    • HAL DoNotDisplay
      HAL DoNotDisplay 9 days ago

      @CatInTheHat Thank you for your thoughtful and well-reasoned contribution.

    • CatInTheHat
      CatInTheHat 9 days ago +1

      Not to be that person but they must have thought of this

    • StaHoo
      StaHoo 10 days ago

      @Hexazalea I think nobody picked up SW quote, what a shame.

    • Rolando Wong
      Rolando Wong Month ago

      @nallen100 l

  • Defective Degenerate
    Defective Degenerate 16 days ago +16

    The obvious solution is making the energy closer to where it will be used. So instead of these large solar farms just put solar panels on every house, you can use wind as well. Nuclear and hydro can cover the base load requirements.

    • Defective Degenerate
      Defective Degenerate 9 days ago

      @CatInTheHat I would never recommend taking out a loan to get solar, that is super unwise.

    • CatInTheHat
      CatInTheHat 9 days ago

      My sisters house had solar panels and it's working out really well. She has an electric dryer and center ac. She now pays less than $50 a month for power and 200 for the solar panel loan

    • Defective Degenerate
      Defective Degenerate 10 days ago

      @G Peter I do, with lower energy bills and electricity when the power goes out for everyone else.

    • G Peter
      G Peter 11 days ago

      @Defective Degenerate Does anyone or anything profit from that?

    • Defective Degenerate
      Defective Degenerate 11 days ago

      @G Peter I produce about 85% of the power I use during the summer and about 50% during the winter.

  • Sal b
    Sal b 4 months ago

    Well explained in deed, well explained. The sun is a huge source of energy se are missing but as I see it, solar pannels and solar farms are still not an enough clean option. They are barely commercially viable but far from clean. I mean, they produce energy but in a still complicated way because it's difficult to store and transport. Even worse the material these pannels are made is HIGHLY DANGEROUS and VOLATILE, it evaporates hence reducing the lifespan and eficency in too hot enviroments.
    At this point the solution has to be achieved outside of the box, we as humanity already know of better but inconvenient solutions wich fall outside of the consummer system. The key discussion needs to take this into account, otherwise we are just digging a hole to patch another.
    Good luck everyone.

  • David Powell
    David Powell 3 months ago +1

    Finances and energy security aside, as solar has 4× the median life cycle CO2 emissions of wind or nuclear fission, according to the IPCC's 2013 LCA report, relying on that much solar power wouldn't have been the most efficient way to decarbonise either.

  • Ken Bellchambers
    Ken Bellchambers 3 months ago +11

    One of the most important advantages of solar panels is the fact that they decentralise power production saving cable and pylons and ensuring that the power doesn't shut off for everyone at once as it does with grid failure. It is much better, in most cases, to have solar panels on every building that act independently. If solar panels are used as a structural element replacing roofs and walls exposed to the sun, they serve two purposes, both power supply and building integrity.
    Road surfaces are potentially a massive area that could be used for powering vehicles, but with a chain of power generating units that are independent of each other instead of the entire road surface being connected. This way if one link fails, the others can operate normally as charging units for electric cars.

    • Ken Bellchambers
      Ken Bellchambers Month ago

      @Greg Redden Better yet, when they are moving also.

    • Dean Simmons
      Dean Simmons Month ago

      Never say never my friend! 😌🌎✨

    • Dean Simmons
      Dean Simmons Month ago

      Interesting, thank you, I'll rephrase that. 😊🌎✨

    • Ken Bellchambers
      Ken Bellchambers Month ago +1

      @Ryan Tosh You are probably correct Ryan, but I like to put ideas out there. I am an old guy, and I have seen some very odd things come about from strange and apparently unfeasible ideas. It is harmless to speculate about these things at any rate. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. We already have mag lev trains with regenerative and downhill motor reversal technology, so extrapolating to roads is really not so far fetched as it may seem at first glance. Back in the old days they used to say men would never fly, then they said electric planes would never fly, but now we have both. Who knows what the future holds? One thing is for sure, strange notions often are realised down the track of time. Blessing and peace.

    • Ryan Tosh
      Ryan Tosh Month ago

      @Ken Bellchambers Well sure, if you pour enough money into the problem it's probably feasible. But there's far more effective ways of generating energy. First off, the magnetically levitating cars idea is never going to happen. That would require massive infrastructure changes, only really viable in cities, limiting where you can go in your own car to a small percentage of places. Ordinary electric cars on plain old road surfaces are also significantly more cost effective, and will continue to be for at least a century. Using the actual motion of cars as a way to generate energy also doesn't make any sense, aside from regenerative braking which only recovers a tiny bit of the energy put in, because friction with air and heat generated will always result in a net loss in energy, and anyone who pretends they can harvest usable electricity from cars driving is just selling thinly disguised perpetual motion machines.
      The idea you mentioned about using heated oil instead of photovoltaic panels sounds better I guess, but this sort of infrastructure is already a massive pain in a controlled environment like a solar farm, let alone encased in asphalt with multiple ton vehicles driving over it. Leaks would likely be very common and would necessitate either shutting down large sections or having lots of other parts (which can also break) to shut off smaller regions of the solar road's oil flow. Sure, you could probably get around these issues with decades of expensive R&D, but when our current offerings are far better, already exist, and are already quickly reducing in cost, there's no need. We already have plenty of room for traditional solar energy, so using roads is just a massive pain that's unnecessary in practically every way.
      Putting solar panels _beside_ the road is more practical, and there's lots of room around most of them, but I still think it's mostly unnecessary and potentially problematic.

  • TheThailightZone
    TheThailightZone 5 months ago +1781

    Thailand has built some very large solar farms that float on water reservoirs. Not only does it generate electricity, but the shade reduces water evaporation and helps cool the panels.

    • Joshua Templado
      Joshua Templado 12 days ago

      This is genius

    • ClockworkGearhead
      ClockworkGearhead 12 days ago

      @FlipFlop Not exactly, but you're not incorrect. Rain, however, is very rarely a phenomena that's created locally and falls in the same place. Most is a rain shadow off the difference of hot/cold ocean currents and rain shadows. Rain is a globally driven thing, it can't be controlled locally.

    • gabriel mistergab
      gabriel mistergab 15 days ago

      @FlipFlop of a reservoir ( you know what people need to drink)

    • Sisekelo Sithole
      Sisekelo Sithole 21 day ago

      impact on aquatic life forms??? the water cycle??

    • lopezfam
      lopezfam Month ago

      Dios te bendiga y Dios bendiga a Todos los que estan leyendo esto! Deseo que tengan un hermoso dia! Buscad a Dios mientras pueda ser hallado! Jesus es el camino y el unico camino y regresa pronto! Recuerda cuando te sientas que no eres amado... el mayor sacrificio se hizo por amor! EL SUICIDIO NUNCA ES LA RESPUESTA!
      Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna.
      S. Juan 3:16 RVR1960
      La paga del pecado es muerte (infierno) pero Cristo pagó nuestra deuda en la cruz para nuestra salvacion! Debemos volvernos a Dios y apartarnos de nuestros caminos pecaminosos, confesar que Jesús es el Señor y creer con nuestro corazón que fue resucitado de entre los muertos por Dios, y debemos de ser bautizados en el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo y vivir por Su palabra y mandamientos! Confia que Dios ayudara con el resto!
      Busca a Dios, antes de que sea muy tarde! Hoy podria ser tu ultimo dia en la tierra!
      Que tengas un hermoso dia!

  • Youngstown
    Youngstown 2 months ago

    It *is* a good idea in a very long timeframe of economic cooperation between Europe and northern Africa. But, also, critically, only to significantly add to the energy supply needs of the whole mediterrenean region, *not* to replcace all energy production for the region, because that is by far too risky. Spain getting a large part of their energy needs met through Gibraltar sounds good (and *is* within limitation and reason), but Spain can itself generate a lot of that power with it it´s own solar energy and absolutely should massively expand their existing capabilities (with the help of EU and national subsidies) to supply the whole Iberian peninsula for starters and then supply more for the the rest of Europe, too (it´s all one european grid anyway, though. They´re already supplying everybody as all power plants are, to a degree). Because of all this, energy supply from northern Africa would, sensibly, always be an *addition* for extra energy security and more competition in the energy market. If all or even just an irreplacable part of european energy supply were to come from a single, all be it large, region outside of Europe, then it´s not exactly a single point of failure, but still far too few points of failure.

  • eddwardo
    eddwardo Month ago +3

    First of all, this plug for brilliant was in fact brilliant.
    What about using cheap solar panels energy to convert carbon in the atmosphere into a some fuel?
    Or to use that energy to leverage the position in producing fertilizers.

    • J Woshy
      J Woshy 10 days ago

      Unfortunately the carbon in the atmosphere doesn't hold much energy for combustion. The reason fossil fuels possess so much energy is because they have many high energy bonds which release energy when they are combusted. Greenhouse gasses are just the broken up molecules from said combustion so they don't really have any potential energy we can effectively use.

  • Schneeritter Studios
    Schneeritter Studios 3 months ago +2

    I usual really love your channel, but spending nearly half the video just talking about the issues of the electrical grid expansions that would be needed, whilst ignoring the current leaps in the field of synthetic carbon capture fuel (which would solve many of the long distance transportation issues) is a bit of a shame.

  • connor joslin
    connor joslin 4 months ago +5

    Surprised he didn’t mention supercritical CO2 cycles in combination with the concentrated solar. Might solve a couple issues mentioned in the video

    • Arturo Eugster
      Arturo Eugster 2 months ago

      That, even with a condensation phase change can lead to high thermal efficiency if a recuperator is also used.
      (Lower pressue and a pump is more efficient than a compressor)

  • John Caskey
    John Caskey 4 months ago +1069

    Beyond the technical and scientific issues, there's also the problem of energy dependence. Giving another country control over your power is insane.

    • Lord Dio
      Lord Dio 8 days ago

      Yeah as nice as ironwood be to live in a Utopia where we can all work together it won’t happen

    • Ounouh
      Ounouh 10 days ago

      It would make more sense to move production on African side, but then there's the problem of getting educated workforce, having to build infrastructure and general political unrest that is poison to any investing.

    • maxgainz
      maxgainz 12 days ago

      Ask Germany , Poland or Hungary how that went with their gas and oil…

  • Lee Hansen
    Lee Hansen 7 hours ago

    Solar power is dependent on your latitude, which hemisphere you're in, the time of the year, the amount of cloud cover, pollution in your area and the ambient temperature as well as voltage drops, and other electrical factors that are inefficiencies in the system!
    The amount of electrical energy is measured in Watts and in volt amps or VA.
    When PV photo voltaic cells are used, the amount of electrical per square foot or meter is rather small as we see in other applications like yard lights along the sidewalk. If you live in a very sunny area you can produce some electrical power but you still need a big area of panels! If you live in an area with a lot of cloud cover, cold winters and high electrical demands for heating and illumination in the winter, the payback time on your investment isn't that promising!
    There is also maintenance and repairs on a PV system and there are inherent dangers for the DYI! I can do the math, and as an electrician for 40 years, the numbers are just not there from a practical standpoint for me!

  • Desert Solar
    Desert Solar 2 months ago +4

    The main reason why so few solar systems are in operation in desert areas is, of course, lack of water. In addition to the lack of water and the normal dust, the other problem is the particulate matter in the air, which massively blocks the sun's rays before they even reach the surface of the solar arrays and accounts for about 25% of the yield loss. All of this causes O&M costs to significantly reduce profits.
    In order for the desired yield to be profitable, the solar energy must be skillfully concentrated, protected from dusting, and instead of water, compressed air must be used to clean the surfaces. Because the air is available everywhere for free and this does not need to be transported.
    I have described how all this is supposed to work in a post on LinkedIn or energycentral. This can be found via DuckDuckGo: ""Don't put your money in the sand".
    The energy generated in this way does not necessarily have to be transmitted via power cables, but can be converted directly into LOHC hydrogen on site and transported further like crude oil.

    • Desert Solar
      Desert Solar 12 days ago +1

      @brandon m I have already applied for a patent for this in 2017.

    • brandon m
      brandon m 12 days ago

      Theoretically could walls be constructed to block the sand. Or compressed air blowers on the panels ?

  • Gustav Derkits
    Gustav Derkits Month ago +1

    I have returned to this presentation several times because it is very good. Unfortunately, I keep finding problems with the presentation and keep wishing that you would do a follow-up centered on photovoltaics and avoiding loaded words like “imperialism” or “colonialism.” I feel that the weakest parts of this piece is the economic and political discussion. Equal investment does not inherently guarantee a”level playing field”, nor does heavier investment from abroad than from local sources automatically imply imperialism. Macroeconomics and international politics are not your strong points.

  • Christophe-Olivier Guglielmi

    The most important takeaway is that the former model of a centralised energy production (plants)is not to be reproduced. Renewables work when in a highly distributed model, whereby energy is produced, delivered or stored near where it is consumed. Rather than a farm, local community size production installations yield much better results without requiring costly infrastructure to build, maintain, regulate and monitor. A lean approach with a straight producer-to-consumer scheme is how solar, wind etc. will eventually help the transition to renewables in a way that does work (and the shorter the line, the less the losses in efficiency).

    • DJ_KOEN
      DJ_KOEN 2 months ago

      Everything is more efficient when it is on a local scale

  • Pavel Sedach
    Pavel Sedach 5 months ago +410

    We recently did a short school project on Nigeria and ~40% of their population is off their grid/doesn't get reliable electricity. Using local solar they can support their people without heavily investing in grid infrastructure. Solar is a win internally in Africa.

    • Delt4_Cr4wfish
      Delt4_Cr4wfish 8 days ago

      @Tabali Tigi's Channel if they not going to do anything with the land thats there fault.

    • Andrew
      Andrew 12 days ago

      @Ron D It's not dependable YET*. Solar, like many technologies, is improving over time in both efficiency and cost effectiveness. Now that solar is seeing more research investment, it's likely we'll see even faster improvements. We live in an era of reusable rockets. The phone in your hand is far more powerful than the world's largest computer from 50 years ago. Don't think technology 50 years ago can compare to today's technology. Don't think today's technology will compare to technology 50 years from now.

    • Delt4_Cr4wfish
      Delt4_Cr4wfish 14 days ago

      @Stettafire it is cheaper, i have stated why. But its far less reliable. Sun isn't always shining. Not to mention there is a cap on its efficiency. As the demand on power goes up as a society we will need much more efficient energy sources. Such as nuclear, ect.

    • Stettafire
      Stettafire 14 days ago +1

      @Delt4_Cr4wfish You only need to worry about the overall energy demands of you're on the grid. These people are largely off grid only generating power for themselves, in which case solar is cheap and works fine

  • Henner Martin
    Henner Martin 4 months ago +4

    One of the biggest solar power plants there (Benban Solar Park) on an area of 37.2 km (14.4 sq mi) is already exisiting. It is located in Egypt and produces approximately 3.8 TWh per year. And the idea is to use seawater of the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterenean sea to produce hydrogen and pump that gas to Europe

    • Khal Drago
      Khal Drago Month ago

      @Don Soreno El Chapo Gringo lol! How about depending on Russia for energy? You’d figure that’s the last thing y’all wanted right now. Or how about depending on China for semiconductors or PPE? Or the Middle East for energy? It sure looks like y’all’s list of enemies is pretty long…

    • Don Soreno El Chapo Gringo
      Don Soreno El Chapo Gringo Month ago

      @Khal Drago Depending on energy from Northern Africa is the last thing europeans want. Transferring electricity over such long distances in unstable countries is big risk.

    • Khal Drago
      Khal Drago Month ago +2

      It makes sense to build the solar plants there; the inter connectors - not so much. Europe is aging and declining economically relative to other regions. Such a huge price to build inter connectors to a place going downhill fast don’t make a whole lot of sense.

  • NoName
    NoName 4 months ago +10

    Solution? :
    Step 1: start a plant by choosing a place near the Sea
    Step 2: do water desalination
    Step 3: USE SOLAR POWER TO MAKE HYDROLYSIS with sweet-water
    Step 4: send hydrogen through pipes to europe
    Step 5 iterate again while sending salt water to desalination further away from the sea as plants grow with energy that is produced by leftover hydrogen
    - cheap sending to europe
    - easy to store energy
    - no need of fossile fuel to keep plant going (all runs on hydrogen)

    • keizee
      keizee 15 days ago

      Desalination is expensive

    • C_Douglas Dillion
      C_Douglas Dillion 3 months ago +4

      Thought this myself, love the idea. But, it turns out not as grand as it sounds.
      First, H2 molecule is tiny compared to the CH4 molecule of Natural Gas (mostly methane in there). So, leakage, is a big problem, the hydrogen can escape easier than materials we can make.
      Second, hydrogen transport by pipe isn’t that easy to do and damages pipes.
      So...these are new engineering feats to tackle. But, I’m with you, I like the plan/idea.

  • Boris Blagojević
    Boris Blagojević 4 months ago +95

    "Every plan to turn this plan into reality has failed."
    - you forgot to add "So far" because if history thought us anything is that engineers and scientists always find a way. 😉

  • kbzoncapo777
    kbzoncapo777 12 days ago

    Great idea! Shame that in order for it to work, politicians have to agree on stuff which makes it almost impossible :(

  • Simo
    Simo 7 months ago +425

    As a Moroccan, I really hope for success of local electric production, it would be a gamechanger for the industry.

    • Stettafire
      Stettafire 14 days ago

      @FireFacts Europe is not a country

    • Stettafire
      Stettafire 14 days ago

      @William Stucke Toyota is Japanese. Car manufacturer he said, not car factory

    • sumcore sumaro
      sumcore sumaro Month ago

      In point of view, we must have a good relationship between 🇲🇦 Morocco and Algeria 🇩🇿 , and latest gas pipeline problems, maybe just a political way to press Europe, it's a big fake film between USA and Russia , against Europe

    • Ko- Jap
      Ko- Jap 5 months ago +1

      you guys have the largest solar plant in the world so their's some hope

    • Andre Ilyas
      Andre Ilyas 6 months ago

      @Simo Both Nigeria and Ghana manufacture cars, what are you talking about ?

  • Nathaniel Thiemann
    Nathaniel Thiemann 4 months ago

    Who ever said that solar panels have to be centralized like this to become a viable energy source? This idea of energy transportation being a huge obstacle is easily overcome by spreading out solar panels. It would address concerns about weather as well.

  • Dr B-the-VERB!!
    Dr B-the-VERB!! 4 months ago

    Would concentrated thermal power be useful for turning seawater into fresh water?

  • Carlos Blanco Rosales

    Really glad you mentioned the long term conflict of interest which would arise from euro investments in african energy generation

  • oatlegOnYt
    oatlegOnYt 4 months ago +5

    The costs of transmissions doesn't work like you said in the video.
    You can't just project linear costs from small lines into big ones. Of course, if we wanted to transport a lot of GW, they will use lines with a lot more power than now, instead a lot of small ones. That scales better in costs.
    And yes... because photovoltaics became cheaper more quickly, then the desertec plans become outdated, but it doesn't make the idea fails. Just it needs to be updated, so probably a mix with higher proportion of photovoltaics has more sense now.
    Also, making the plants near the sea, instead of consume fresh water, concentrated plants can consume sea water and produce desalinated water as a byproduct making the plants more profitable.
    But it's real that the countries are more unstable that other investments and probably the reason because these plants will take a lot of time to turn real and probably in a smaller scale will be just because western countries will produce energy in situ instead of remote places. At least by now. The desertec was based in the prices difference between produce on Africa and produce in Europe and now that difference is not enough to attract so heavy investments.
    But take notice that the reduce of fossil fuels is just starting, and there will be a huge demand of hydrogen for industry for example.
    Maybe the Sahara regions & Middle East will turn into a huge energy export using electricity or P2G to export hydrogen instead.
    Or... maybe Africa will turn into a new big producer in this century just like China and Asia was in the last three decades, so this energy will be consumed in the continent to produce a lot of goods for export.
    I don't see this as a "colonization" in the same way that China was not colonized by the western. It depends a lot of little things like ownership, retain and increase local knowledge and expertise, etc. To be an exporter is not a bad things specially if they are poorer than anyone else, if the profit is reinvested into local capitalization to make a fast development in the area.

    • beyondFOX
      beyondFOX 4 months ago

      Also he's wrong about the distance at which HVDC becomes more efficient: the 600 km rule is only true if you put the power lines in the air.
      Under the sea or in the earth they become more efficient at around 50 km. This is due to the reactive power. But yeah they can also build power lines with larger capacities: in China they built a 3,200 km HVDC line with minor losses at 1,100 kV that can transmit 12,000 GW.

  • Gorzux
    Gorzux 7 months ago +283

    So what about Chile's massive potential of energy production in the Atacama desert (photovoltaic) and Patagonia (eolic)? Maybe the low local demand of energy may be a benefit for exporting stacked energy in the shape of hydrogen from water desalination electrolysis plants, specially considering that every in Chile is close to the coast. It's just the perfect industry for my country

    • Arturo Eugster
      Arturo Eugster 3 months ago

      Ivanpah Solar electric power system is name of the Heliostat based Thermal Installation
      ( 2 systems, a third in construction)

    • Arturo Eugster
      Arturo Eugster 3 months ago

      Matthew, Mikko and Phoenix have a point. Without fresh water photovoltaic flat panels cannot be separated from accumulated dust. High temperatures reduce the efficiency of the cells.
      But there is a solution using power towers illuminated by heliostats. 2 very large installations are operational right on the border of California and Arizona next to interstate 15 in the desert.
      Thermal energy is collected by thousands of steerable mirrors (heliostats) and using steam turbines, generators feed the grid. At the wrong time of the day. So they use a molten salt storage system.
      But in Chile you can do much better using your idea of sending the electric power to the nearby coast and generate with hydrolysis hydrogen. Hydrogen is hard to transport, too voluminous.
      Here is what you can do:
      Collect from the cement industry the copious co2 produced and using the Sabatier reaction ,convert the co2 and the hydrogen to methane (natural gas) . Liquefy it at -162C and transport it by truck any where it is needed in compact form. Part of the product you can distribute in pipelines in gaseous form as natural gas, with some hydrogen added. Or using the Fisher-Tropsch process convert it to liquids (kerocene).
      Since this collection of co2 is desirable and Elon Musk is promoting this, he might finance such a system.
      The heliostat system erected in the Atacama desert can be simplified, because no storage is required.
      Hace mucho tiempo habia una guerra entre nosotros , Abaroa era nuestro heroe ( que se rinda su abuela!) Hoy tenemos que cooperar.

    • Arturo Eugster
      Arturo Eugster 3 months ago

      Actually that has been proposed many times. Un problema es el peligro de abatir a los aviones que pueden pasar por el rayo de energia micro onda.

    • Tim Corrigan
      Tim Corrigan 7 months ago +2

      @Matthew Ostergren ...and many areas have 0 inches of recorded rainfall. Great for production (though a PITA for cleaning.)

    • Tim Corrigan
      Tim Corrigan 7 months ago +2

      @Matthew Ostergren They did that. When I was there in 2003 there was a drought that also caused a power shortage. They actually really need to diversify away from hydro.

  • JMSA
    JMSA 4 months ago

    This type of systems in N. Africa would be a wonderful project.
    Take photovoltaic or heat solar energy basis (ideally a combination of both). Use water for hydrogen production (needs a pipeline to nearest source of water - perhaps the Mediterranean) and for cleaning and cooling. Use some heat recovery systems for the water as well and then treat the used water to recover and reuse it to reduce water footprint.
    For shorter distances, transmit directly the power by the most efficient method. Then you can use batteries (for night use of energy) and hydrogen (for local use and export).
    An integrated approach could work wonderfully and all the costs don't really phase much. BP alone want to invest 5 Billion USD annually on renewables. And that is just one company investing in just one area of operation, ANUALLY. Reaching some 500 Billion USD investment over a period of 10 years by multiple countries should not be too difficult.

  • TheAbstractHero
    TheAbstractHero 4 months ago +6

    Wouldn't it make more sense to keep the excessive amount of energy localized to the region, use the cheap energy to produce goods (potential energy goods, maybe?) which can be sold and shipped around the globe at a highly reduced cost to hundreds of 150 million dollar cables?

    • TheAbstractHero
      TheAbstractHero Month ago

      For example, why not use remote areas with lots of natural kinetic energy availability (wind, hydro, etc) to essentially subsidize

    • Nukestarmaster
      Nukestarmaster Month ago

      Oh, yes of course, give one nation a monopoly on the production of goods, that will work out wonderfully.

    • Waladoopa
      Waladoopa 2 months ago

      they don't want Africa to get rich. geopolitics 101. keep it poor buy cheap resources.

  • MrBraaannigan
    MrBraaannigan 4 months ago +79

    I find the tendency to frame any interaction between Europe and Africa to be neo-imperialistic to be baffling. In this case a German consortium approached the Moroccan government about making an investment in Morocco. The Moroccan government decided it was interested in a chance at a big new export, but the project eventually became uneconomic and was abandoned. Happens between groups in different European countries all of the time and without anyone calling it imperialistic. In contrast, in true imperialistic systems the locals had no say in whether such projects went ahead as they were approved by either a colonial administration or a puppet local government, neither of which apply here. I think it's a bit infantalising of African nations to continue to paint their independent economic choices as neo-imperialistic in this way.

    • aziz
      aziz Month ago +2

      What I found interesting is that the energy goes to Europe. Like making a plan like the sahara was Europe, making connections like it was obvious that this energy goes to Europe.
      En français : ce que je ne comprends pas, c'est pourquoi l'énergie produite dans un désert africain devrait aller en Europe. On fait des câbles à destination de l'Europe, et on fait même des calculs pour récupérer cette énergie pour qu'elle aille, toujours, en Europe. Cette vidéo fait comme si il était normal de faire des câbles au détriment des africains. Bref, la question est pourquoi faire de tel câbles, même si il y a un investissement ? Pourquoi, ce serait à l'Europe d'en profiter ? A écouter la vidéo, on dirait qu'il suffirait de tout brancher, de payer les infrastructures et cette énergie deviendrait gratuites de fait pour les européens.

    • Alexey Anatskiy
      Alexey Anatskiy Month ago +3

      @John Crocker So Moroccan king sits on $2.1bn fortune in a dirt-poor country and the problem is German imperialists? It's an interesting view.

    • John Crocker
      John Crocker Month ago

      @Zikashauna Maybe... although it still works.

  • PastaAivo
    PastaAivo 4 months ago

    I would be interested in seeing high-power heavy industry and refining being built in Sahara to be powered by solar. Something like aluminium production which requires immense amounts of energy.

  • YourPalAL
    YourPalAL 7 months ago +259

    This is all fascinating. On the surface if someone said to me "let's turn the Sahara into a giant solar plant" I would think it's a good idea. You bring up a lot of good points.

    • natma relnam
      natma relnam 26 days ago

      @moh mab Starving people steal all sorts of things but they're not the ones taking power plants hostage or tearing down power lines and scraping them. Stealing food is forgivable, only a true criminal steals a power plant.

    • brianlimmy
      brianlimmy Month ago +1

      @Len Gould that's his point, to a layman who has no knowledge of how solar actually works, "lots of land + lots of sun = big good solar power" kinda makes sense

    • Albtraum
      Albtraum 2 months ago +1

      Solar panels are the wrong tech to use. Too much waste and rare minerals needed. There is a better and easier way:
      Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector technology by CNIM - Concentrating solar power plant

    • moh mab
      moh mab 4 months ago

      @Naples Wolverine people are starving and you're talking about hookah

  • Sue Cox
    Sue Cox 2 months ago +1

    Excellent presentation--I understand the issues much better now. Thank you.

      FUTURED Month ago

      100% agree! What other future developments are you excited about?

  • Ben
    Ben 4 months ago

    So maybe someone much smarter than me can explain this but ... What about using a solar plant in the Sahara to charge up massive batteries??? -- and then transporting said battery to a location in need of energy. This eliminates the need for those expensive transmission lines.
    Disclaimer: I know nothing about using solar power to charge batteries

  • wowJhil
    wowJhil 4 months ago +2

    It's lucky this project wont be that successful, just imagine if this was much cheaper and would work overall really well. It's so risky having a large part of your energy source in not just another country, but another continent even.

  • Dzengiz Tafa
    Dzengiz Tafa 4 months ago +2

    If you were to block the saharan desert from almost all of its sunshine by covering it with voltaic cells it would lead to a massive disturbance in the climate around the world. You would probably end up making the climate worse.
    Especially since Sand takes up heat very quickly. When the sand would no longer receive that heat anymore the temperature would change drastically.

    • Haliax
      Haliax 4 months ago +2

      Sand has a low heat capacity. Why do you think deserts are cold as shit at night? Regardless, building massive farms in the Sahara is inherently stupid, so you shouldn't need to worry about climate alteration.

  • Semechki for Putin
    Semechki for Putin 7 months ago +190

    it could be practical though to spread probably largely decentralized solar power systems (like for one household or one village) through desert and desert-adjacent inhabited areas to replace wood and charcoal for cooking, and also provide some electricity for electronic devices to aid in education etc.. I hear areas like the sahel have long had a problem with trees being cut down for firewood, when they are desperately needed to hold off desertification and graze goats and such. countering desertification locally by use of solar power probably wouldn't make a difference for the climate, but it would help to reduce the displacement of people in those areas, which is generally going to be a huge worldwide problem in the coming decades. it would also be nice in that it would empower poor people, whereas the plans to export african solar power to europe would as usual benefit corporations and corrupt officials. well, the solar power would probably also be routed to some nearby cities, but certainly not to villages in the middle of nowhere.

    • The A-Historical Gamer
      The A-Historical Gamer 7 months ago

      @mjolnir A battery bank would be the easiest however a water tower with pump and turbine would also be highly useful since it could store water in the tower during daylight and let it out at night to run the turbine as part of normal water usage

    • Semechki for Putin
      Semechki for Putin 7 months ago

      mjolnir batteries. maybe just lead acid for chwap weak setups, or perhaps repurposed lithium ion batteries that no longer hold enough charge for electric vehicles, but would still work for stationary use.

    • DRAGON. from India
      DRAGON. from India 7 months ago


  • asdf asdf
    asdf asdf 4 months ago

    Hmm, i had hoped for a bit more touching on heat vs solar panels and also sand storms and general sand movement interfering with the mirrors (making them go blind) and with the surface of solar panels as well.
    I don't quite get why it is so problematic to build up a power plant fully with foreign investement money which then has obligations towards the investors to provide electricity for a certain time - how is that colonial? The two options are: Morocco gets money for a power plant which then will provide electricity to the investors for a certain time and afterwards is probably just a piece of infrastructure for morocco or morocco gets no power plant at all, because they can't or don't want to afford it on their own.
    The water usage is a big problem and on that i'm with you, but investors seeing some return on their investment doesn't strike me as very colonial. And i fail to see the alternative there. Even in socialism, you wouldn't invest sums that large with no return for yourself.

  • AM D
    AM D 14 days ago +2

    According to recent models, the Saharan Monsoon may switch back on at moderately warmer temperatures- bringing back the Green Sahara. Would be a greater benefit than any solar power project

  • Imoner
    Imoner 4 months ago +27

    "This plan will take billions to complete" - Actually worth it. But nooo, big energy companies can't allow it

    • arunashamal
      arunashamal Month ago +1

      it is not worth it

    • Mark Drake
      Mark Drake Month ago +1

      @Bug Stomper more Jobs for the people there... i fail to see the problem here

    • Bug Stomper
      Bug Stomper 4 months ago +1

      They'll need an army of window cleaners to keeps them clean.

    • Aniis Normal
      Aniis Normal 4 months ago


  • Kevin Mcgrath
    Kevin Mcgrath Month ago

    Very good overview of an incredibly complex subject…you can make a case for every energy form ..but where you start from..what consequences you refer to or not…both indirect and direct
    And where you end…are just some of the many variables….even Michael Moore belatedly came to realise a lot of the green energy…was mainly a con and delivered pitifully little energy…whilst consuming huge resources indirectly…a weird combination of the greens and big business …one party believing the hogwash…the other with zero consiousness cynical enough to make a fast buck …all of course supported by global media

  • Richard Sleeve
    Richard Sleeve 7 months ago +212

    I see a really awesome game like Factorio or a mod that focuses on electricity generation and distribution in a more complex and realistic way. This is fascinating stuff. Enough so that I feel I chose the wrong career.

    • Y. T.
      Y. T. 5 months ago

      @J4Zonian you're staggeringly naive.
      If you want to depend on renewables in Germany, you'd need something like a 2-5 Terawatthours of storage.
      Cost aside, at the moment installing such energy storage would require about something like 5-10x total *worldwide* yearly production of all lithium ion batteries.
      In many specialties, anyone in academia can write anything and all it a 'study'. And get it peer reviewed. Look at the career of Diederik Stapel. Dozens and dozens of papers, over a decade.

    • Y. T.
      Y. T. 5 months ago

      @J4Zonian I mean, if a system doesn't really work that well under wildly optimistic conditions, what hope is there in the real world ?

    • J4Zonian
      J4Zonian 5 months ago +1

      @Y. T. Yes, because the place to learn about the real world is a wildly inaccurate game.

  • iggut
    iggut 4 months ago

    Equatorial mega-ships(solar islands) cooled by waters would be glorious. Sadly would require world-wide cooperation and we are all way too greedy :(

  • safae el kaddouri
    safae el kaddouri 3 months ago +4

    I do believe that one day, projects like that will work out. probably need more innovative ideas:)

      FUTURED Month ago +1

      100% agree, it's just a matter of time! What other future developments are you excited about?

    • lost in space
      lost in space Month ago +1

      Meanwhile we are getting coned ,,,

  • Charles Bates
    Charles Bates 3 months ago

    Has anyone calculated the cost of making the entire project EMP proof? The fall of the Earth's magnetic field (already down 20-25% & dropping) makes such preparation imperative.

  • RazagalArtanis
    RazagalArtanis 14 days ago

    I'd love to see this video reviewed with the new Morocco to UK HVDC cable being built.

  • Omar Aqq
    Omar Aqq 7 months ago +242

    There are a couple of points left out, such as temperature, cost of land and intermittency based on location. Temperature is an efficiency factor for PVs and installing them in a desert where temperature goes beyond 45 C is not a very feasible idea. Cost of land in Germany is multiples higher than cost of land in Morocco. Finally, in Germany PVs energy supply will be more intermittent than that of Morocco's.

    • Bram van Duijn
      Bram van Duijn 4 months ago +2

      Since PV fit on roofs I don't want to hear about land cost until over 80% of roofs are covered in PV. It is an excuse to do nothing, probably sponsored by lobbyists.

    • Veronika Smith
      Veronika Smith 5 months ago +1

      @Paulman50 My, that's an old chestnut. Every reduction and potential reduction in emissions takes us a step away from self destruction. Buy a battery and study it closely. New advances are occurring daily. if we had stopped after the first fails at flying, we wouldn't be flying around the globe, nor trying to reach the stars.

    • Robbi Robson
      Robbi Robson 6 months ago +3

      also solar panels often get stolen in africa, i was there when they build a big solar plant and they gave up because after some months half of the plant was missing

    • AronBaron
      AronBaron 6 months ago +1

      @Ggoddkkiller Interesting arguement.
      However, we had the muskets, you had the spears.

    • glidercoach
      glidercoach 6 months ago +2

      So the people of the region must have plenty of low cost, clean, renewable solar electricity... right?
      No! Algeria gets most of its electricity from natural gas. They could literally shut down all their Co2 producing power stations and go green... but won't.
      Why can't Algeria can't supply solar power within its own country, even with all this solar potential? How is this possible?
      I lived in Africa for years. I love Africa. There will always be a special place in my soul for her.
      Africa is... Africa. Change happens very, very slowly. Africa can feed the world, yet has famished people. Money will not speed up progress. The complexities are way beyond anything imaginable. You will never understand Africa untill you live there.

  • SMSFF7
    SMSFF7 10 hours ago

    Would it be possible to use that solar energy and make hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cells and then ship them out to be used to power stuff?

  • Snow
    Snow 2 months ago +2

    👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽good video desert solar energy should be done equally by countries working together and taking countries taking care of their people first.

      FUTURED Month ago

      Agree, we have to start collaborating more! What other future developments are you excited about?

  • Christopher Fairs
    Christopher Fairs 4 months ago

    To put some of the figures quoted in context; the cost of repairing inadequate welds in the cooling system of the French nuclear plant at Flammanville is estimated to cost 1.5 billion euros. This, for a few welds, is for a plant (EDF Energy) that is now 11 years overdue and had an original total building cost estimate of 3.3 billion euros. That estimate has now risen to 19.1 billion euros.

    • CatInTheHat
      CatInTheHat 9 days ago

      I think nuclear plant construction needs to be done by the highest quality employees then triple checked to avoid issues.

  • Colonel 100
    Colonel 100 Month ago

    I did some math back in my uni days (so like a year ago) if you covered the total area of the earth in thermodynamically maximal solar panels you would just meet & exceed the global energy output. The entire premise of the “simple math” is factually incorrect. This also includes wind energy sources (I studied geophysics and earth science)

    • G Peter
      G Peter 10 days ago

      Does your earth include china where you can't put your foot in? Does it include North Korea? China? Africa? Brazil? Did you include them ?

  • Zahari Burgess
    Zahari Burgess 7 months ago +839

    I live in Kenya and solar here is incredible since there is no true "winter", its only sunny and rainy season so there is not less sunlight or less sun hours around the year

    • Mason McDonald
      Mason McDonald 7 days ago

      @Real Engineering You’re still framing this as imperialism when it’s a win win for both continents. MENA earns a fortune from exporting Oil and will do the same with Solar. Local populations will be the first recipients of cheap solar electricity.
      This video was released a month before yours. Did you not know about this project?

    • Matthew Ostergren
      Matthew Ostergren Month ago

      @Hirak Chatterjee No you don't.

      FUTURED Month ago

      That is great! What other future developments are you excited about?

  • Kevin JEWELL
    Kevin JEWELL Month ago +2

    Andalucia in Spain, the Langueduc-Roussillon in France and most of Italy have excellent areas for solar farms and I know for a fact that France has been terribly lazy with upgrading their solar and wind farms...all along the French Riviera could install roof tiles that look like the red clay tuiles they use and retain the esthetic and go green....

  • ezanchi
    ezanchi 3 months ago +1

    The only truly tradeoffs free renewable energy source would be Dyson sphere. Anything other than that would 100% sure have drawbacks some way or another.

  • DasIllu
    DasIllu 12 days ago

    As a german i can say, at least our supply of problems seems to be inexhaustable.
    Good thing we have a thing for engineering ;-)

  • Andrew Thompson
    Andrew Thompson 6 days ago +1

    I studied this a few years back. The biggest issue solar companies faced in Africa was crime and sabotage.

  • Paul Haynes
    Paul Haynes 7 months ago +92

    Nice to see a YT channel taking a broader, more realistic view of technological 'solutions' for a change.

    • saberline152
      saberline152 7 months ago +1

      one of my professors calls engineering: the law of returning misery
      this channels shows why

  • Patrick
    Patrick 8 days ago

    That really puts the gap from where we are to a type 1 civilization in perspective

  • operator
    operator 2 months ago

    I would have though a big problem would be the sahara dust storms that cover everything over. Wouldn't be long before these panels were covered with dust and not working. Moreover the change in ecosystem eg- "Desert damage: the dark side of solar power?" - By Pat Brennan

  • Fixti0n
    Fixti0n 10 days ago

    So we could cover the whole of Sahara with solar panels.
    Or, spend a fraction of a percent of that money on making nuclear powerplants and just flying the nuclear waste into the sun, it would still be cheaper, safer and faster then the solar utopia.
    Wasting time, energy and money on transporting local sources of power to places where that power isnt, is worse for everyone.

  • Matthew C
    Matthew C Month ago

    Might be strange question, but from my understanding…water solar farms are a bit more efficient, and water desalination dumps brine back into the ocean, why not dispose of brine on top of the dessert and put a solar farm on top of it

  • Just Aguy
    Just Aguy 5 months ago +327

    Generation tends to be the focus, while transmission and storage have enormous engineering challenges as well. But advances for both are coming, too.

    • lopezfam
      lopezfam Month ago

      Dios te bendiga y Dios bendiga a Todos los que estan leyendo esto! Deseo que tengan un hermoso dia! Buscad a Dios mientras pueda ser hallado! Jesus es el camino y el unico camino y regresa pronto! Recuerda cuando te sientas que no eres amado... el mayor sacrificio se hizo por amor! EL SUICIDIO NUNCA ES LA RESPUESTA!
      Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna.
      S. Juan 3:16 RVR1960
      La paga del pecado es muerte (infierno) pero Cristo pagó nuestra deuda en la cruz para nuestra salvacion! Debemos volvernos a Dios y apartarnos de nuestros caminos pecaminosos, confesar que Jesús es el Señor y creer con nuestro corazón que fue resucitado de entre los muertos por Dios, y debemos de ser bautizados en el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo y vivir por Su palabra y mandamientos! Confia que Dios ayudara con el resto!
      Busca a Dios, antes de que sea muy tarde! Hoy podria ser tu ultimo dia en la tierra!
      Que tengas un hermoso dia!

    • Just Aguy
      Just Aguy 2 months ago

      @Dean Simmons All true however transmission and storage is still the holdup to broader use. I'm ALL for it of course, without these and other alternatives to fossil fuels we're going to be perpetually in trouble.

    • Dean Simmons
      Dean Simmons 2 months ago +1

      The 3rd generation solar cells are already here. They're twice as effective in low light and blue light spectrums, last three times as long in the sun, gather 60% more energy throughput the day, and are significantly more durable due to their solid copper backing. They've been available since 2013. 😊🌎☀️

    • Mau
      Mau 3 months ago

      @scout360pyroz hh

  • Julian Puderbach
    Julian Puderbach Month ago +1

    at 5:00 , The consideration of the economics of HVDC connections is dependent on whether cable or overhead lines are used. In the case of overhead lines, it is true that HVDC is only economical above 600 km. For connections using seacables, however, the situation is different. There, HVDC is already more cost-effective from 50-60 km. At even greater distances, HVAC cables can no longer be used because of their high reactive power.
    Therefore, HVAC would only make sense for the connection from Morocco to Spain.

  • Drakkon Darkspell
    Drakkon Darkspell 4 months ago

    So, once again, the issue boils down to social problems that keep technology from helping out. We're not mature enough to do the right things because it is the right thing to do. Imperialism is just another feature of late-stage capitalism we can do without to be free to solve the problems facing the world.

  • DevilKing1994
    DevilKing1994 Month ago

    One of the problems would be storing the energy because during the night the Panels won't produce energy so they would need to store enough electricity to power the world during those hours

  • Jo TV
    Jo TV 2 days ago

    you know you can reforest a desert? especially using a lot of the organic waste that ends up in landfills and recycling centers. humans can control the planet. the landscape. the climate. people just dont know how to work together enough to make progress in a reasonable time frame

  • David Elliott
    David Elliott 7 months ago +280

    The Moltex molten salt nuclear reactor runs continuously while heating the same type of heat storing salt used in solar boilers. The heat is used to fill peaks in demand while the reactor runs continuously. Costs are cheaper than coal and you don’t need all the cabling of solar (any type) to connect the panels.

    • David Elliott
      David Elliott 5 months ago

      Molten salt nuclear especially the Moltex) is intrinsically safe. Temperature rise above normal reduces power output to zero well within acceptable limits. Temperature falling increases power from the reaction. It’s entirely self regulating. The coolant loop could be disconnected at full power and nothing bad will happen.
      The fuel is liquid so cannot suffer physical degradation or the internal pressure rise that stops solid nuclear fuel being fully used. The result is 99% fuel burn vs 4% burn in a PWR. This cuts the waste storage time by 1000x.
      The list of benefits is huge.
      The only reason it’s not been done before is the endemic engineering conservatism of the nuclear industry and regulators who move glacially slowly and cannot comprehend anything new.

    • David Elliott
      David Elliott 5 months ago

      Molten chloride salt is LESS corrosive than hot pressurised water. It’s also completely impervious to neutron radiation. This cracks water into hydrogen (which embrittles metals) and oxygen which corrodes metals.

    • PK Killer _Apathy
      PK Killer _Apathy 6 months ago

      @Drake Koefoed we don't know it's one of those known unknown of science. We know that these waste give of radiation which is a for of energy we can't use yet. Who knows we could get to the point where the waste becomes valuable. There's been talks about using it as batteries. But there's not enough resources available to push those type of research yet.

    • Daimon Trilogy
      Daimon Trilogy 6 months ago

      @Drake Koefoed the problematic waste needs to be stored for around 27 years. The waste which is stored for lets say 50000 years is nonproblematic, as long as you don inhale or eat it.

  • L K
    L K 4 months ago

    Solar panels lose efficiency over time and have to be replaced every 5 -10 years, which would be impossible to do if you have 10,000 square kilometers of solar panels. You also have factor in solar panels broken by animals and stolen by people.

  • SDriver3
    SDriver3 4 months ago

    they could donate the panels i guess... Like many other projects, I think it wasn't a well-thought plan but someone with big vision and hopes and eneded up wasting a lot of resources. A reality check is a must before starting. I also think that they must have primarily focused on the energy that can be produced instead cost of materials/labor/efficiency/time to the time the whole thing would be operational.
    I believe there are always more convenient alternatives to the solutions we're looking for and that we should be willing to hear out other suggestions and have a constructive criticism/opinion before spending on such large projects 🤦‍♂️

  • Bloqk-16
    Bloqk-16 Month ago

    That ship @15:28 is not an oil tanker, but a bulk carrier ship or what is also known as a bulker. Those panels on the ship's deck are hatches to access the bulk cargo, such as grain. Oil tankers don't have deck panels, but instead, a maze of pipes.

  • William Toh
    William Toh 2 months ago

    The cheap electricity can be used locally for smelting or high energy usage industrial products or produce hydrogen using the underground water. All these will benefit the local community and cheaper compressed hydrogen as fuel for generating electricity using fuel cells. Or even as fuel for aircraft.

  • Conor S
    Conor S 7 months ago +41

    This was really really interesting. I’ve never heard of concentrated solar, sounded like an awesome concept until you explained the pitfalls. This is one thing, regardless of the environmental benefits that I like about the switch to renewables, because it gives the opportunities for much more countries to have their own energy independence and not rely on energy that comes from other parts of the world just for basic power needs which have primarily been the driver of wars and conflict. The entire world shouldn’t have to crap itself because a 30 mile wide body of water in the Middle East is being fought over by the United States and whoever.

    • Snek
      Snek 7 months ago

      Water is the next war.

    • Volatile 100
      Volatile 100 7 months ago +1

      @Ehbfunbcc Whjfhbhjxf On the topic of waste, uranium-235 decays into thorium during its fission, meaning it generates more fuel for other types of reactors. And, not all of the uranium gets "depleted", a rather low amount does, but it's too much for most active reactors. The good news on that, is that the remaining "spent" rods can be used in starting reactors and sustaining them until new full rods can be put in.
      And even after that, the depleted uranium is used in a lot of military things, like penetrators and armor.
      The total true waste produced in USA from the moment that we started research is extremely small, with a volume of only a football field size hole, roughly 2.5 meters deep.

    • DRAGON. from India
      DRAGON. from India 7 months ago


  • TheSerpentKing
    TheSerpentKing 4 months ago

    A good plan for africa would be:
    1) a massive amount of solar power plants in the desert areas
    1) giant marihuana farms where the land is green
    3) produce paper from hemp to satisfy the world's need for paper thus binding tons of co2
    4) export cannabis products worldwide for pharma industry
    5) use all that's left of the plants to convert the biomass to sun fuel (synthtic fuel)
    6) export sun fuel so there's no need for transferring electricity
    - completely co2 neutral, no need for electric cars and no need to destroy woods for paper. Africa would have an environmental friendly industry and maybe rise to be a global power with this plan.

  • Chris Bart
    Chris Bart 2 months ago

    I thought Elon Musk said it was 20% of 1 Gw = 200 Mw for a square kilometer. Am I missing something here?
    Also, transmission losses are a huge problem. Speaking of helping impoverished Algerians is getting ahead of yourself, as Algerian oil reserves have little effect on the average person living there.

  • The Stickman Animations

    It's very simple, too much sun...
    As a guy who is Nigerian, I thought insanely heavy sun would basically give me infinite electricity,...turns out, it dosent really work that way

  • Verhasselt Johan
    Verhasselt Johan Month ago

    There is a solar panel developed that transmit sun in to H2. This can transmitted with ships al over the world. Also H2 can provided in nighttime to ensure the power.

  • Ethribin
    Ethribin 6 months ago +393

    Local infrastructure should always be used locally first.
    Much more energy efficiency

    • Dennis Doherty
      Dennis Doherty 4 months ago

      @Chocoretto Beyond my pay grade. I know enough to stay out of commodities.

    • Chocoretto
      Chocoretto 4 months ago

      @Dennis Doherty I’ve heard of crack spreads in commodities trading , perhaps you can explain what the crack process is.

    • Chocoretto
      Chocoretto 4 months ago

      @Dennis Doherty You mentioned Texas refineries are the only one capable of “cracking” (not sure what crack means) Canadian oil. Canadian oil from oil sands range from heavy to ultralight. Hence, I ask what grade of crude you’re referring to. PADD 3 isn’t the only refinery to receive oil from oil sands.

    • Dennis Doherty
      Dennis Doherty 4 months ago

      @Chocoretto Was a new thread started? Or has the American attention span struck again?

  • ChinchillaBONK
    ChinchillaBONK 2 months ago

    General gist is that we need a total comprehensive solution that combines not just the energy resources itself, but also energy storage, transmissions and smart grids.

  • 3nertia
    3nertia 4 months ago

    My ideas would solve pretty much *ALL* these problems
    Let's grow super-efficient electromagnetic collectors using CRISPR, a specific fungus from Fraser Island, Australia, combined with glass sea sponge DNA! I believe we could grow super-efficient crystalline structures and harvest a much wider swath of the electromagnetic spectrum than ANY current solar technology :)

  • Jeff Myself
    Jeff Myself 4 months ago +1

    12:05 yes germany is investing in solar-power, but even more (&worse) they are investing in coal-energy, and are currently mining more coal for energy than ever before

  • TechVlogger
    TechVlogger 4 months ago +1

    What if instead of sending the power over grid, a local lab was made that would use the electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen? Agreed, the water WILL be a problem in desert. However, it can be brought to the place with some cost.
    What this could do is store that energy to be used later. I assume the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen could be somehow used to produce electricity because the reaction would be exo-thermic.

    • TechVlogger
      TechVlogger 26 days ago

      @Irving Shekelstein I don't see how this will need more workload other than sending the water to the destination. You could send a kilo gallon at a time at very low cost (that too, risk free unlike sending fuel).

    • Irving Shekelstein
      Irving Shekelstein 26 days ago

      You need a human workforce for that

  • Arch Collie
    Arch Collie 7 months ago +229

    My question regarding solar is how long do the panels last, especially given the wind-blown sandy environment, and when the panels require replacing, what happens to the waste? There is a hell of a lot of heavy metals in solar panels. Who pays for the clean-up, or is it left to the poor African countries to deal with?

    • yohannes tafari
      yohannes tafari 4 months ago

      @Martha Tjarks where do you get theses figures, 80% at fifty years .?

    • J4Zonian
      J4Zonian 6 months ago

      @Isaac Groen the PV industry is so new, and panels last so long, that very few have needed it til now. There are finally an increasing number in need of recycling, and companies and systems are rising to the challenge. We should recycle every one, and can, by appropriate government action.

    • Isaac Groen
      Isaac Groen 6 months ago

      As far as I know, panels can be recycled, at least for the most part, although I doubt that most current at the end of life are.

  • TheGryfonclaw
    TheGryfonclaw 2 months ago

    This is all good information. I do think it’s better for our electric grids to be less centralized, and more decentralized, what with the relative ease of installing panels on homes or on a small scale to serve a small area. One thing that does perpetually annoy me, and I can’t really say many people agree with me on this- (I mean what asshole would object to solar energy?) that we tend to look at an area of the world that seems otherwise useless, and then make the decision to cram humongous amounts of material and structures on them without once considering regional effects to the existing ecosystem and local climate. There are heat islands in what most consider normal urban areas. Can you imagine how much more difficult survival would for desert species already living on the edge? The frequency of Maintenance of panels in biomes known for dust storms? I’m not saying that these things haven’t been addressed, or that i’m even right- but there’s just something I find profoundly arrogant about constructing a giant industrial facility in what is often perceived as unproductive wilderness ostensibly with the goal to reduce negative environmental impact.

  • Rhian Taylor
    Rhian Taylor 2 months ago

    We are already in need of a better way to store electricity and potentially move it to where (and when) it is needed. My vote goes to co-locating with the PV farm a plant to make and store ammonia as a better way to store hydrogen which can then be sold on.

  • Joshua Patrick
    Joshua Patrick 3 months ago +1

    How much is reflecting this concentrated light and heat back up affecting our atmosphere instead of it dissipating like it would naturally?

  • Ben Daly
    Ben Daly 11 days ago

    I have a small solar plant on my roof. It's shocking that I STILL am not paid for exporting electricity. Over half of what I produce is exported

  • VGMR1
    VGMR1 7 months ago +57

    I feel like it's also worth considering whether it's even wise to generate virtually all of Europe's power in one or two North African countries as well. It gives those countries immense leverage over the EU and it's not hard to imagine some future geopolitical crisis involving cutting power to all of Europe. While I think the solar Sahara project is of value I wouldn't go all in on that alone.

    • Quand Même
      Quand Même 6 months ago

      Put there an european army and we are fine.

    • Adityan
      Adityan 6 months ago

      @TwerkToSpec almost no one does, at least not based on good nature. But they will run the number to see how much they might benefit, how much exploitation, etc. I don't know any countries that make decisions based on kindness and good nature, I mean literally look at what he said in the video about Europe abandoning it as soon as they decided they didn't need it, and the United States in general.

    • Adityan
      Adityan 6 months ago

      Energy independence is not inherently a bad idea, but it seems like something people agree with when they like it and disagree when they don't. Getting oil from Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc.,? It's fine. Getting some part of energy from a north African country? Nah.
      Not saying this is you, but I see this a shit ton.

    • J4Zonian
      J4Zonian 6 months ago

      @VGMR1 Well, thanks so much. That's really nice of you.
      But you can't seriously tell me you didn't say this: "I feel like it's also worth considering whether it's even wise to generate virtually all of Europe's power in one or two North African countries as well."
      It's right up there in your comment. Are you really going to deny saying what you said? You also admitted to only watching 1 minute of the video you're criticizing. That seems rash.
      I'm perfectly calm. But you seem confused. Want to take a moment to collect yourself? Or a week? I think you should.

  • Rainer YTufall
    Rainer YTufall Month ago

    I am really confused that this concept gets spinned neo-imperialistic while it is supposed to be a contract-based system. If played rule-based, this ought to be a win-win-situation for all partners. Europe gets green energy supply and North African countries get a developed technology and means to harvest green energy that they can exploit for themselves.

  • Jared Hill
    Jared Hill Month ago

    Nuclear power doesn't have the same land requirements. It takes over 300 times the land area in solar panels as a nuclear power plant for the same amount of power. It's quite a shame that Germany refused to keep their biggest zero carbon power source for unreliable renewables and polluting coal.

  • Victor Petit
    Victor Petit 4 months ago +1

    Wow the first part of the video made me real angry, like just assuming that energy produced in Maghreb countries should go to Europe is such an insane continuation of colonialism
    But you explained it well in the end

    • Rodrigo Ameixa
      Rodrigo Ameixa 4 months ago

      You mean the part where those countries monetarily benefit from it?