Science Massive solar and wind farms could bring vegetation back to the Sahara

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by tom_mai78101, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

    Ratings:
    +955 / 4 / -1
    Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy is an important and necessary step towards averting climate change. However, in our efforts to go green, we also need to be mindful of other consequences, both intended and unintended – and that includes how a mass deployment of renewable technology might affect its surrounding climate.

    What if the Sahara desert was turned into a giant solar and wind farm, for instance? This is the topic of new research published in Science by Yan Li and colleagues. They found that all those hypothetical wind turbines and solar panels would make their immediate surroundings both warmer and rainier, and could turn parts of the Sahara green for the first time in at least 4,500 years.

    The scientists behind the research looked at the maximum amount of solar and wind energy that could be generated in the Sahara desert and the transition region to its south, the Sahel. The two regions were picked as they are relatively plausible sites for such an enormous roll-out of renewable energy, being fairly near to substantial demand from Europe and the Middle East, while having limited other demands on the land. Both have substantial potential resources of wind and solar energy. Li and colleagues also suggest that The Sahel, in particular, could also benefit from economic development and more energy for desalination, providing water for cities and agriculture.

    As the two regions are so large, the solar and wind farms that were simulated in this study are the size of entire countries – 38 times larger than the UK. They would be vastly bigger than any existing solar and wind farms, and could provide up to four times as much energy as is currently consumed globally.


    Read more here. (The Conversation)
     

Share This Page