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New report: solar power for Europe
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A PDF or MS Word version of this press release, with pictures, can be
downloaded from www.trec-uk.org.uk/press.htm#press_release_1.
TRANS-MEDITERRANEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY COOPERATION (TREC)

Press Release

NEW REPORT SHOWS HOW EUROPE CAN MAKE DEEP CUTS IN CO2 EMISSIONS AND
PHASE OUT NUCLEAR POWER AT THE SAME TIME

Energy mix to include solar power from deserts

A new report, commissioned by the German Government (The German Federal
Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear
Safety (BMU)) shows in detail how Europe (including the UK and Ireland)
can meet all its needs for electricity, cut emissions of CO2 from
electricity generation by 70% by the year 2050, and phase out nuclear
power at the same time.

The key to this revolution in electricity supply is the
replacement of old polluting power plants that rely on dwindling
supplies of fuel with a larger range of non-polluting sources of
energy that will be good for thousands of years.

In the scenario described in the new 'TRANS-CSP' report, the need for
imported sources of energy will be reduced and this, coupled with the
increased range of sources of energy, will help to ensure the resilience
and security of energy supplies.

But an important part of the proposals in this report and the earlier
'MED-CSP' report is the development of a collaboration between countries
of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) to take
advantage of the truly monumental quantities of energy that fall as
sunlight on the world's hot deserts.

"Every year, each square kilometre of desert receives solar energy
equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil. Multiplying by the area of
deserts world-wide, this is nearly a thousand times the entire current
energy consumption of the world." said Dr Franz Trieb, Project Manager
for the two reports.

"We can tap in to this energy by using mirrors to concentrate sunlight
and create heat. The heat may be used to raise steam and drive a
generator in the conventional way. This kind of 'concentrating solar
power' (CSP) — which is very different from the better-known
photovoltaic 'solar panels' — has been producing electricity successfully
in California for nearly twenty years.

"The cost of collecting solar thermal energy equivalent to one barrel
of oil is about US$50 right now (already less than the current world
price of oil) and is likely to come down to around US$20 in future.

"Contrary to what is commonly supposed, it is entirely feasible and
cost-effective to transmit solar electricity over long distances. With
modern high-voltage DC transmission lines (HVDC), only about 3% of the
power is lost for each 1000 km. In round figures, this means that solar
electricity could be imported from North Africa to London with only
about 10% loss of power. This compares extremely favourably with
the 50% to 70% of losses that have been accepted for many years in
conventional coal-fired power stations.

"We have calculated that solar electricity imported to Europe would
be amongst the cheapest sources of electricity, and that includes the
cost of transmitting it. Supplies would be much less vulnerable to
interruption than are current imports of gas, oil and uranium."

Collaboration amongst countries of EUMENA would create substantial
benefits. For all the countries it would mean a plentiful supply of
inexpensive pollution-free electricity and the creation of jobs and
earnings in a large new industry.

For countries in North Africa and the Middle East it can also mean the
creation of fresh water by the desalination of sea water using the
waste heat from CSP. This can have a major impact in alleviating
shortages of fresh water in those regions, a problem that is likely
to be made worse by climate change, as highlighted recently by Sir
David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government.

In addition, the areas under the solar mirrors of CSP plants are
relatively cool and protected from the harshness of direct tropical
sunlight—which means they can be useful for many purposes including
horticulture using desalinated sea water.

TRANS-MEDITERRANEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY COOPERATION (TREC)

NOTES FOR EDITORS

A PDF or MS Word version of this press release, with pictures, can be
downloaded from www.trec-uk.org.uk/press.htm#press_release_1.
The website of TREC is at www.trecers.net.
Copies of the TRANS-CSP and MED-CSP reports may be downloaded
from www.dlr.de/tt/trans-csp and www.dlr.de/tt/med-csp.
Further information, with links to other sources, is at
www.trec-uk.org.uk.
CONTACT

This press release has been issued on behalf of TREC by
Dr Gerry Wolff, 18 Penlon, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5LR, UK.
Phone: +44 (0)1248 712962,
Web: www.trec-uk.org.uk.
 
Registered: October 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have 200 square feet of solar water heating panels on a shed in my back yard. Zero help from the local/state/federal government in installing the system.

I take that back, since it was installed this year I can use the brand new $2000/ deduction on my taxes. (It is worth about $600-$800 worth of cash, unless I hit the Alternative Minimum Tax this year.)

I still need to install the energy meter so that I can earn the Green Tags (credits for avoiding pollution). There are a couple of brokers out there that can aggrigate the green tags from small producers and sell them on the market to groups who need them. (Companies that cannot stay under their pollution limits.)

I guess that is something that the governments of the world are doing to encourage alternative energy production. Creating/allowing for the creation of markets in green credits helps to subsidize renewable energy at the expense of more polluting industries.

-Jim


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the link. It's a very interesting web site.
 
Registered: April 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
"Contrary to what is commonly supposed, it is entirely feasible and
cost-effective to transmit solar electricity over long distances. With
modern high-voltage DC transmission lines (HVDC), only about 3% of the
power is lost for each 1000 km. In round figures, this means that solar
electricity could be imported from North Africa to London with only
about 10% loss of power




If it's so efficient, why aren't people doing it ?

Also, dc presents more problems when it comes to shifting voltage levels, a task routinly handled by transformers in ac systems. And high voltage dc is a killer. far more dangerous than ac.
regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hmmm, no answers !

Moving on.
Last week took my annual holiday on the Greek island of Paros. Now, as most of you will know, that part of the world does very well for sunshine. The island has a Diesel generating plant. By the smell it runs on the bunker fuel that is used in large marine diesels.
One evening I was enjoying a beer and reading the local English language paper and there was an article that pointed out how the generating plant was starting to groan a bit under the load. The proposed answer was an under sea line from the Greek mainland.
Yet they have all that sunshine. Why not invest in solar Stirling generators as in california ? Probably cheaper than photovoltaic panels.
Just use the Diesel plant at night or to back up the Stirlings when the sun don't shine, it happens, even in Greece. I'm amazed that no one is suggesting this rout.
regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe it just makes too much sense?

Free energy that remains at a fixed cost,Produced locally and more reliably than a generator with the added benefits of being carbon free production of electricity.

So lets import it instead.hope it doesn't cost more than the solar option. I guess governments are short sighted all over the world,not just here.

Not comforting to hear


21 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Grand Coulee uses pumped storage, which could also work for Paros if it has the right topography. Use solar and/or wind to pump water uphill when conditions allow, then run it back down hill through turbines when power is needed. No batteries.

The political trick is to make it sound like something else, like irrigation, or drinking water, or desalination (it can be any or all of these). The town near my parents farm has a small turbine generator in the drinking water gravity pipeline. It's been generating worthwhile electricity for over 50 years. It has the hidden advantage of reducing pressure in the lower part of the pipeline, which used to be banded wood.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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12volt, Johno,

Good points, all of them.
I also thought about pumped storage. There isn't enough fresh water to use, but there is plenty of seawater. As large parts of the island aren't particularly fertile, and the whole place is virtually rock with some high(ish) bowl shaped valleys, the use of seawater would be possible. Mustn't let it contaminate the ground water though. Job for the hydrologists. Being in an earthquake zone may be a problem. But the area, The Cyclades, is well known for it's winds, so a combination of wind, water and sun could provide all the power needed. Maybe when oil hits 200 a barrel things will change.
regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK, here's another idea. If the powers that be don't want a reservoir up in the hills, then the concept can be inverted and put under water, off the coast. Perhaps you're familiar with the underwater petroleum storage tanks? They're essentially upside-down tanks, open to the sea on the bottom. By pumping air into such a device, displacing the water, you've got a clean energy storage system. Run the compressed air back through your favorite energy conversion device* and Bob's your uncle.

* Sufficiently high pressure can be used for the intake air charge for an internal combustion engine, eliminating the power drain from part of the 4-stroke cycle. Extremely high efficiency can be obtained this way, using less fuel for the same output power. This could be a selling point for a major part of the system, since it would still "look" like a conventional gas or diesel power plant to a bureaucrat.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Johno,
We have a similar idea over here to store gas. Essentially an inverted drum(Very big) sits in a well.The drum rises and falls depending on the amount of gas supplied to the drum or the amount taken from it. I have seen the same idea used as an accumulator for compressed air. I imagine it is also a constant pressure device as the drum weighs the same no matter how much gas/air is in it. You can adjust the pressure by increasing the weight.
I imagine you could build huge ones in the sea and pressurise them with compressed air from your wind turbines. Releasing the air back through air turbines/generators. There is virtually no tide in the Aegean, so tidal power is out.
Should work.

Part two of your post sounds suspiciously like a turbo or supercharger type arrangement to me. But you are right, it will improve the efficiency.
regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If the generator is just starting to groan under load then leave it and supplement it with a combination of wind and solar just to help it out,that would seem to be the cheapest alternative right now.

Then build up the renewable energy as funds allow till at some point your renewable energy is now the primary source and the generator can backup when needed. It could run on bio if so desired but by that time it could be obsolete.

It just dawned on me also that 200 dollars a barrel should be within a governments foresight,As in I don't think it's all that far away and certainly within a four year mandate.


21 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe teh guy who wrote this hasn't been to Europe. we don't get much sun here in the UK. I have not heard of anyone that thinks tha solar can replace Nukes in the UK
 
Location: UK | Registered: February 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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They are talking about solar panels in the Sahara and Transmission lines to the UK. It's an idea that keeps popping up in the media. There's a lot of challenges assosiated with a project this big but on the surface it sounds like a plan, use the sun in the desert and ship it to the end user in Europe

German study sees job boom from Sahara solar project

£50bn of European investment needed to kick-start Saharan solar plan


21 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 12voltdan:
They are talking about solar panels in the Sahara and Transmission lines to the UK. It's an idea that keeps popping up in the media. There's a lot of challenges assosiated with a project this big but on the surface it sounds like a plan, use the sun in the desert and ship it to the end user in Europe

German study sees job boom from Sahara solar project

£50bn of European investment needed to kick-start Saharan solar plan



mmmm i see that one estimate is £50BN - not sure who will pay that sort of money. And I do not really understand how you would get the power to Europe - some big cables me thinks. I love renwable energy but this sort of project just grabs headlines and does nothing to gain public support for 'real' renewable projects.
 
Location: UK | Registered: February 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by energybook:


mmmm i see that one estimate is £50BN - not sure who will pay that sort of money. And I do not really understand how you would get the power to Europe - some big cables me thinks. I love renwable energy but this sort of project just grabs headlines and does nothing to gain public support for 'real' renewable projects.


Yup 50 billion is a lot to start up but compare that to the money just tossed at the banking institutions, what was the total? governments will need to be leaders in this size of opperation which isn't that unheard of

Not sure if pulic support is all that needed, yes taxpayers want results but if it delivers electricity to the masses then will the public be opposed? I don't think so.

This is a real renewable project and has been established elswhere as a viable alternative already,Spain being one now using this technology as well as the States though in smaller scales


21 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am going to have a think about this and do some research.
 
Location: UK | Registered: February 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by energybook:
quote:
Originally posted by 12voltdan:
They are talking about solar panels in the Sahara and Transmission lines to the UK. It's an idea that keeps popping up in the media. There's a lot of challenges assosiated with a project this big but on the surface it sounds like a plan, use the sun in the desert and ship it to the end user in Europe

German study sees job boom from Sahara solar project

£50bn of European investment needed to kick-start Saharan solar plan



mmmm i see that one estimate is £50BN - not sure who will pay that sort of money. And I do not really understand how you would get the power to Europe - some big cables me thinks. I love renwable energy but this sort of project just grabs headlines and does nothing to gain public support for 'real' renewable projects.


-50 Bn starts looking feasible as Germany takes the lead in phasing out nuclear power.

I live near the 50th northern parallel and a single 36 watt PV panel is now in mid spring supplying half my current requirements-
These same panels went on sale 40% off, $125, so three more on the way.
I'm hoping to find or create a hyperefficient fridge that my beer be cold and cream not rot-

Cheers!
SUB
 
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada | Registered: September 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I'm hoping to find or create a hyperefficient fridge that my beer be cold and cream not rot-

Dig a hole in the ground on a North facing slope, or under your cabin. I used a pit fridge for many years. A small 12v RV cooler can keep beer as cold as you want if it's well insulated in the shade.
Something like this 60W unit is within the capability of PV solar and battery system.
http://www.boatandrvaccessories.com/RPAT-788.htm



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Solar power from the Sahara is technically feasible however it requires a stable political situation to be sustainable. The Mediterranean coasts of Spain, France Italy and Greece might be better locations for large solar arrays.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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