Should we turn the Sahara Desert into a huge solar farm?

The relentless sun makes life in the Sahara almost unbearable. But could it also be its greatest resource?

Photo credit: Savvas Kalimeris on Unsplash
  • If the Sahara Desert were a country, it would be the fifth largest in the world.
  • Each square metre receives, on average, between 2,000 and 3,000 kilowatt hours of solar energy per year.
  • There are two practical technologies at the moment to generate solar electricity within this context: concentrated solar power (CSP) and regular photovoltaic solar panels.
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Technology & Innovation

Dubai to build the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant

Can you make solar power work when the sun goes down? You can, and Dubai is about to run a city that way.

Photo credit: MARWAN NAAMANI / AFP / Getty Images
  • A new concentrated solar plant is under construction in Dubai.
  • When it opens next year, it will be the largest plant of its kind on Earth.
  • Concentrated solar power solves the problem of how to store electricity in ways that solar pannels cannot.
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Technology & Innovation
  • The Parker Solar Probe is set to uncover a mystery about the sun: Why is it's corona hotter than its surface?
  • NASA's ability to fly a probe so close to the sun is a marvel of engineering.
  • Michelle Thaller, an astronomer at NASA, explains why the Parker Solar Probe is so hot right now.
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7 climate change projects that are changing the game

While there's plenty to be worried about, it's important to remember that we're making progress, too.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • If we do nothing, global temperatures could rise as high as 10 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
  • Fortunately, humanity is hard at work at keeping temperature increases below the 2 degrees Celsius mark.
  • These 7 projects are just a snapshot of what humanity is collectively doing to fight back and beat climate change.
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Technology & Innovation

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
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Politics & Current Affairs