Reports from the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona have once again focused on the potential of the Sahara desert region to produce ALL the electrical energy needs of Europe if a mass concentration of solar technology was to be established there.
Scientists estimate that at a cost of approximately €450 billion, electricity could be produced at 15 cents per kWh. A super DC current grid would connect the Sahara to Europe, reducing transmission losses significantly.
Although not a new plan, one wonders if Europe has the will and the way to ever see such a project through to reality. Perhaps the fact that such a project gets mainstream news coverage is good enough, as this can only boost public awareness.
However, PV projects on a local level will soon (2012-14) reach grid parity in many parts of Europe as the cost-per-watt reductions continue unabated. By then, such a grand scheme may be seen as too costly and not in the best interests of European countries.
Green energy independence rather than green energy dependence could still prove to be the most compelling reason for such a scheme remaining on the drawing board.