Using 82 Terawatts of solar and wind to Green the Sahara as a side effect would cost at least $82 trillion

Researchers simulated the effects of around 79 terawatts of solar panels and 3 terawatts of wind turbines. Computer modeling looked at the effect of covering 20 percent of the largest desert on the planet in solar panels and installing three million wind turbines.

There would be 16X the rain in the aridest parts of the Sahara, and double that of the Sahel.

It should be noted that massive amounts of solar and wind power does directly alter the climate.

The researchers are claiming that this energy side effect would be a net positive for the world. The extra rain going to the Sahara would not be more dryness elsewhere.

Global investment in renewable energy (Solar, Wind, Hydro and biofuel) edged up 2% in 2017 to $279.8 billion, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to $2.2 trillion.

Solar alone accounted for 98GW, or 38% of the net new power capacity coming on stream during 2017. China 53GW installed with solar investment of $86.5 billion, up 58%. Renewable energy investment in the U.S. was down 6% at $40.5 billion. Europe had a decline of 36% to $40.9 billion. $154 billion was spent on solar and $100 billion was spent on wind power in 2017.

52.6 GW of wind power were installed. Wind Power Capacity reached 539 GW in 2017.

Let us assume that it only costs $100 billion to install 100GW of solar power. Instead of the $157 billion.

Let us assume it only costs $50 billion to install 50 GW of wind instead of $100 billion.

79 terawatts of solar panels would cost at least $79 trillion.
3 terawatt of wind power would cost $3 at least trillion.

This would not include costs for the land and power grid improvements and backup power or power storage.

It would cost about $2 trillion a year to replace the 2 terawatts of solar and wind that would wear out every year.

the build rate would need to be about 4 terawatts per year in order to complete in 20 years before the major annual replacement would begin. This would be about 40 times more global solar than in 2017 and about three times as much wind power.

The installed renewable gigawatts are for peak power. There is only 20% capacity factor for solar. Solar and wind have to be replaced every 15 to 30 years.

$15 trillion for 1.591 terawatts of constant power from solar and wind

There was an analysis that 1.591 Terawatts of constant solar and wind power built over four decades would cost about $15.2 trillion. Constant power requires a 5X buildout of solar and 3X buildout of wind compared to the prior analysis.

Over the conservative 60-year life of a nuclear reactor, the wind and solar for US Roadmap would need 36 billion square meters of high-performance 160-watt panels. Here is the calculation for that number:

• Utility PV: 14.5 billion
• Residential: 2 billion
• Commercial: 1.5 billion
• Sub-total: 18 billion
• With one panel replacement: 18 + 18 = 36 Billion m2 of panels

Even with factoring in NREL’s future cost discounts – which partially depend upon improved panel conversion efficiency – the 60-year cost for PV would still be $7.6 Trillion.

The Roadmap’s utility PV solar breaks down as follows:
• 14.5 billion m2 of panels
• Initial installation: $4.1 Trillion
• With one panel replacement and three inverter replacements: $7.4 Trillion
• Minus 28% (NREL’s utility PV future discount), 60-year cost = $5.3 Trillion

According to the 100% Roadmap, utility PV farms in 2050 would deliver 488.9 GWs average, or 30.7% of the 1,591-GW grid, for 34.9% of total cost.

Utility PV quick numbers:
• 490 GWs
• 31% of grid
• 35% of cost

180 thoughts on “Using 82 Terawatts of solar and wind to Green the Sahara as a side effect would cost at least $82 trillion”

  1. That power will be generated only in the Sahara and localized to immediate distribution. It can not be spread all over the world. Duh!

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  2. That power will be generated only in the Sahara and localized to immediate distribution. It can not be spread all over the world. Duh!

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  3. It would be cheaper than that – every doubling in volume will reduce the price by at least 7%. The biggest remaining cost is the setup. They would make it easy to just offload from a truck and hook up (everything built as is in the factory) another big savings. It is off by 4x or more. They should bid on it and pay for the bid. It will be less than 10 is my guess (trillion that is!!)

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  4. It would be cheaper than that – every doubling in volume will reduce the price by at least 7{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. The biggest remaining cost is the setup. They would make it easy to just offload from a truck and hook up (everything built as is in the factory) another big savings. It is off by 4x or more.They should bid on it and pay for the bid. It will be less than 10 is my guess (trillion that is!!)

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  5. 79 trillion or so for that nah I’ve got a much more grandiose idea. lets build a rammed earth “Wall” a km or so high that redirects wind from southern Africa that will green the Sahara like it usually gets greened in the ancient past. It will be a glorious wall!

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  6. 79 trillion or so for that nah I’ve got a much more grandiose idea. lets build a rammed earth Wall”” a km or so high that redirects wind from southern Africa that will green the Sahara like it usually gets greened in the ancient past. It will be a glorious wall!”””

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  7. Nah, if you want to darken the desert, put a bunch of cheap, sooty coal power plants on the upwind edge of the desert. Problem solved.

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  8. Nah if you want to darken the desert put a bunch of cheap sooty coal power plants on the upwind edge of the desert. Problem solved.

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  9. First of all, the estimated cost of developing a Martian lichen is just a guess. A wild guess based on zero previous projects that have accomplished anything similar. You may be right, but there is no basis for the calculation. Secondly, even a perfect lichen that spread over the entire planet of Mars and converted all the CO2 to O2… well now what? As it stands Mars has only 0.6% of Earth Atmospheric pressure. If we remove all the carbon from the atmosphere, it now has what 25% less than that. 0.45% of Earth. Hardly a terrestrial atmosphere. And now the system failed to post my comment the second time around, and demands I change the comment to try again. Primum omnium, est extimationis pretium developing Martia lichenas est coniectura. Fusce sagittis sagittis urna nulla fera ullo A secundum quod aliquid actum sit similis. Te potest iustum esse, sed nulla ex calculo. Tum etiam perfecte convertant lichenas pervaderet omnia totius orbis Martis in CO2 O2 … quid tum? Mars solus habet illa stat sicut atmosphaerica 0.6% in terris pressura. Si removere omnem carbo carbonis ab aere, nunc ut id quod est minus quam XXV%. 0,45% de terra. In atmosphaera vix ad terrestres veniamus. Et iam defecit ratio est autem post me comment secundo circuitu est, et petit mea mutata est in comment, iterum conare.

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  10. First of all the estimated cost of developing a Martian lichen is just a guess. A wild guess based on zero previous projects that have accomplished anything similar. You may be right but there is no basis for the calculation.Secondly even a perfect lichen that spread over the entire planet of Mars and converted all the CO2 to O2… well now what? As it stands Mars has only 0.6{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth Atmospheric pressure. If we remove all the carbon from the atmosphere it now has what 25{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} less than that. 0.45{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth. Hardly a terrestrial atmosphere.And now the system failed to post my comment the second time around and demands I change the comment to try again.Primum omnium est extimationis pretium developing Martia lichenas est coniectura. Fusce sagittis sagittis urna nulla fera ullo A secundum quod aliquid actum sit similis. Te potest iustum esse sed nulla ex calculo. Tum etiam perfecte convertant lichenas pervaderet omnia totius orbis Martis in CO2 O2 … quid tum? Mars solus habet illa stat sicut atmosphaerica 0.6{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} in terris pressura. Si removere omnem carbo carbonis ab aere nunc ut id quod est minus quam XXV{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. 045{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} de terra. In atmosphaera vix ad terrestres veniamus. Et iam defecit ratio est autem post me comment secundo circuitu est et petit mea mutata est in comment iterum conare.

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  11. Actually, the most efficient way to run a car is called “pulse-and-glide driving” where you accelerate for a while and then coast down again. Just to distract from the actual point of your comment. Atque iam haec agentibus maxime iter car dicitur currere a “pulsus et impellens paria sublabi, ‘ubi tu et accelerate aliquamdiu oram usque adhuc. Just considunt ut distenderent ab ipsa parte vestri comment.

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  12. Actually the most efficient way to run a car is called pulse-and-glide driving”” where you accelerate for a while and then coast down again.Just to distract from the actual point of your comment.Atque iam haec agentibus maxime iter car dicitur currere a “”””pulsus et impellens paria sublabi”””” ‘ubi tu et accelerate aliquamdiu oram usque adhuc. Just considunt ut distenderent ab ipsa parte vestri comment.”””

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  13. Who cares about mathematical realities? Libtards don’t ‘do math’ when it comes to pitching their BS. “Yes, I realize that Medicare For All would cost 30 trillion dollars over 10 years. But think about it – trillion is just a billion with 3 zeros added. And zeros have no value. so there is no real cost.” – Alexandra ‘Future Of The Democrat Party’ Ocasio-Cortez responding to an interview question

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  14. Who cares about mathematical realities? Libtards don’t ‘do math’ when it comes to pitching their BS.Yes” I realize that Medicare For All would cost 30 trillion dollars over 10 years. But think about it – trillion is just a billion with 3 zeros added. And zeros have no value. so there is no real cost.””- Alexandra ‘Future Of The Democrat Party’ Ocasio-Cortez responding to an interview question”””

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  15. Darn… off by factor-of-two. Area is (A = πr²) not (A = 2πr²) … so 17 GW instead of 34 GW, and 7,500 m on a side instead of 11,000. But still … pretty darn large. Vast, actually. Size of a pretty big city. From the ground, (7.5 km • √(2)) ÷ 35,700 km = 0.000306 radians (divided by 2π times 360) = 0.017° or about ¹⁄₂₈ size of the moon. It’d look thru strong spotters binoculars like the Moon, to unaided eyes. Whereas Mars (at its closest conjunction, about ½ AU distant or 75,000,000 km), thru the same binoculars remains “just a big spot”. ¹⁄₁₀₀ size of Luna. However, the Space-Power station would pretty much be the brightest “star” in the night sky unless well cloaked by its designers. The rectantennae would have to be pretty amazing things in their own right. 37 millimeter wavelength requires dipoles at 1 wavelength spacing for near 100% pickup. 6,600 m circle of dipoles … 31 BILLION little antennae dipoles in that 6,600 m diameter circle. Just saying… Big.

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  16. Darn… off by factor-of-two. Area is (A = πr²) not (A = 2πr²) … so 17 GW instead of 34 GW and 7500 m on a side instead of 11000. But still … pretty darn large. Vast actually. Size of a pretty big city. From the ground (7.5 km • √(2)) ÷ 35700 km = 0.000306 radians (divided by 2π times 360) = 0.017° or about ¹⁄₂₈ size of the moon. It’d look thru strong spotters binoculars like the Moon to unaided eyes.Whereas Mars (at its closest conjunction about ½ AU distant or 75000000 km) thru the same binoculars remains just a big spot””. ¹⁄₁₀₀ size of Luna. However”””” the Space-Power station would pretty much be the brightest “”””star”””” in the night sky unless well cloaked by its designers. The rectantennae would have to be pretty amazing things in their own right. 37 millimeter wavelength requires dipoles at 1 wavelength spacing for near 100{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} pickup. 6″”600 m circle of dipoles … 31 BILLION little antennae dipoles in that 6″”600 m diameter circle. Just saying…Big.”””””””

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  17. There are places where Europe and African are pretty close like the Rock of Gibraltar. Also there is an entire continent south that could use all that power with a future population in the billions.

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  18. There are places where Europe and African are pretty close like the Rock of Gibraltar. Also there is an entire continent south that could use all that power with a future population in the billions.

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  19. Goat. The power could be microwave beamed to the rest of the world. High tension power lines to Europe, Africa, Asia. No one poaches HV electricity. Biggest problems would be terrorists. Could bury the HV transmission lines. The solar panels could boot strap itself. You do have a lot of sand and idle hands. The power could be used to desalinate water to grow food. and cotton.

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  20. Goat. The power could be microwave beamed to the rest of the world. High tension power lines to Europe Africa Asia. No one poaches HV electricity. Biggest problems would be terrorists. Could bury the HV transmission lines. The solar panels could boot strap itself. You do have a lot of sand and idle hands. The power could be used to desalinate water to grow food. and cotton.

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  21. The plan would only increase rainfall 16x. 16 x almost 0 means the area would still be semi-arid, so there wouldn’t be a critical lack of sunlight due to cloud cover.

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  22. The plan would only increase rainfall 16x. 16 x almost 0 means the area would still be semi-arid so there wouldn’t be a critical lack of sunlight due to cloud cover.

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  23. Others have already said it: this is ridiculous — in the scale imagined. • Can’t distribute the power to 90% of the planet • Can’t directly use the power (but you could: make a lot of aluminum) • Can’t imaginably defend against poachers • Can’t scale the silicon industry to pave millions of km² per year… Sorry, but as exercises go, its just a Science Fiction fantasy. Just saying, GoatGuy

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  24. Others have already said it: this is ridiculous — in the scale imagined. • Can’t distribute the power to 90{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the planet• Can’t directly use the power (but you could: make a lot of aluminum)• Can’t imaginably defend against poachers• Can’t scale the silicon industry to pave millions of km² per year… Sorry but as exercises go its just a Science Fiction fantasy.Just sayingGoatGuy”

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  25. Corrosion comes to mind. But hey… there are ways around that. Solar panels — at least the topside (and bottoms, but not the edges) are largely hermetic. Glass sandwiches. So yah… place a reflective berm around the side “make a basin”, quarter fill with sea water, make power AND fresh water at the same time. Still, just got to get rid of the brine; can’t exactly pour it into the desert (but I suppose you could, for a LONG time) Yep, good. ⊕1 to you =goat=

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  26. Corrosion comes to mind.But hey… there are ways around that. Solar panels — at least the topside (and bottoms but not the edges) are largely hermetic. Glass sandwiches. So yah… place a reflective berm around the side make a basin””” quarter fill with sea water make power AND fresh water at the same time. Still just got to get rid of the brine; can’t exactly pour it into the desert (but I suppose you could for a LONG time)Yep”” good. ⊕1 to you=goat=”””””””

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  27. We’re using something like 160,000 TWh per year globally. This is proposing 82 TW generating capacity, at something like 10 hours per day, all year (before the rains kick in) => 300,000 TWh per year, almost double what the whole world needs. Kind of hard to get that to the Americas or Australia, so it’s way more than what can be distributed from there, even if you put transmission cables over or under the Mediterranean. So it would be fine to mix that with your tarp idea. As it is, this idea is rather overblown (and I like renewables… where it makes sense).

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  28. We’re using something like 160000 TWh per year globally. This is proposing 82 TW generating capacity at something like 10 hours per day all year (before the rains kick in) => 300000 TWh per year almost double what the whole world needs. Kind of hard to get that to the Americas or Australia so it’s way more than what can be distributed from there even if you put transmission cables over or under the Mediterranean. So it would be fine to mix that with your tarp idea. As it is this idea is rather overblown (and I like renewables… where it makes sense).

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  29. Why not transparent evaporation panels over solar cells? Salt water is transparent, solar cells are near black, and transform most of the light into heat.

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  30. Why not transparent evaporation panels over solar cells? Salt water is transparent solar cells are near black and transform most of the light into heat.

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  31. Often said, seldom numerically confirmed. GEOSYNCHRONOUS power generation definitely needs pretty large distributed microwave antennae to pick up the power, Earthside. Geosynchronous is FAR up there. 35,920 km to be exact. ALMOST as far away as the earth is around (circumference). Remembering (as I do every so often) that (angular divergence ≡ 1.22 λ / diameter) where λ is wavelength (in meters), then using “8 GHz” as the frequency, and what, 250 meters as the diameter?: λ = c / frequency λ = 299,792,458 ÷ 8,000,000,000 λ = 0.03747 m divergence = 1.22 λ / D divergence = 1.22 × 0.03747 ÷ 250 divergence = 0.000183 radians And if we go with the trigonometric (spotsize = divergence • distance) more or less: spotsize = divergence • distance spotsize = 0.000183 × 35,920 km spotsize = 6.57 km Well, there you are. Our ¼ kilometer (250 m) transmitting antenna requires a 6,600 meter “rectantenna” down here on old Dirt in order to pick up the power. At 95% or better efficiency. Let’s see. Assuming 500 W/m² maximum allowable incoming power (safety), that’s power = area • specific power power = 2πr² • sp. power power = 6.28 × 3,300² × 500 power = 34,000,000,000 W Well! 34 gigawatts. Cool. In space, one might conjure 30% multilayer PV as “the norm”, thru sophisticated in-vacuuo manufacturing. Insolation watts are: insolation power = power / efficiency insolation power = 34 GW ÷ 0.30 insolation power = 114 GW area = insolation power ÷ 1363 area = 114 GW ÷ 1363 area = 83,600,000 m² linear = √( 83,600,000 ) linear = 9,150 m So a rectangular array GREATER than 9 km on a side. With filling gaps and so on, 11+ km. That’s a big array. Just saying GoatGuy

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  32. Often said seldom numerically confirmed. GEOSYNCHRONOUS power generation definitely needs pretty large distributed microwave antennae to pick up the power Earthside. Geosynchronous is FAR up there. 35920 km to be exact. ALMOST as far away as the earth is around (circumference). Remembering (as I do every so often) that (angular divergence ≡ 1.22 λ / diameter) where λ is wavelength (in meters) then using 8 GHz”” as the frequency”” and what 250 meters as the diameter?:λ = c / frequencyλ = 299792458 ÷ 800000λ = 0.03747 mdivergence = 1.22 λ / D divergence = 1.22 × 0.03747 ÷ 250divergence = 0.000183 radiansAnd if we go with the trigonometric (spotsize = divergence • distance) more or less:spotsize = divergence • distancespotsize = 0.000183 × 35920 kmspotsize = 6.57 kmWell there you are. Our ¼ kilometer (250 m) transmitting antenna requires a 6″”600 meter “”””rectantenna”””” down here on old Dirt in order to pick up the power. At 95{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} or better efficiency. Let’s see. Assuming 500 W/m² maximum allowable incoming power (safety)”” that’spower = area • specific powerpower = 2πr² • sp. powerpower = 6.28 × 3300² × 500power = 3400000 WWell! 34 gigawatts. Cool. In space”” one might conjure 30{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} multilayer PV as “”””the norm”””””” thru sophisticated in-vacuuo manufacturing. Insolation watts are:insolation power = power / efficiencyinsolation power = 34 GW ÷ 0.30insolation power = 114 GWarea = insolation power ÷ 1363area = 114 GW ÷ 1363area = 83600000 m²linear = √( 83600000 )linear = 9150 mSo a rectangular array GREATER than 9 km on a side. With filling gaps and so on”” 11+ km. That’s a big array.Just sayingGoatGuy”””””””

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  33. Really? Ummm… it’d sure be good to see a citation on that. Especially since “giving a WHOLE planet an atmosphere” is without a doubt 3 or 4 orders of magnitude (i.e. 1,000 to 10,000 x) greater than paving the Sahara with Magic Power Crystals. Just saying, GoatGuy

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  34. Really? Ummm… it’d sure be good to see a citation on that. Especially since giving a WHOLE planet an atmosphere”” is without a doubt 3 or 4 orders of magnitude (i.e. 1″”000 to 10000 x) greater than paving the Sahara with Magic Power Crystals. Just saying””GoatGuy”””

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  35. Actually, your citation of “evaporating sea water” in the desert is good. IF (and it is a big IF) the goal is to lower the desert’s albedo, to absorb more sunlight as “heated area”, which in turn deposits that heat into ambient air, which being heated relative to the stuff above, rises, which adiabatically cools, which generates enhanced cloud cover, which electrically precipitates more rain, which greens the desert below… IF that is the goal, then one needs only to have “something dark” covering the desert. Cheapest of all would be black plastic panels. Sheeting is too flimsy. Medium-sized panels, “tacked” into the sand with sand anchors, would do the trick. Reduce albedo, increase sunlight retention, heat air, more rain, done. And minimally to worry about re: maintenance. Its OK if the panels get partially covered with dusts. Heck, the increased rain ‘ll clean ’em. But of course “why not have the black panels do something else too?” comes. The next up, almost-as-cheap-except-for-infrastructure (big exception!) would be to craft billions of 10 m² black plastic trays with transparent fitted bubble covers and interlined with piping. Salty sea water into ’em, let ’em heat and evaporate lots of water in the day, condense onto the plastic cover, drips down sides, is collected and shuttled off to the fresh-water pickup system. Lots of little tubes. Sand anchors. Maintenance. What to do with the brine? Its probably also valuable. Since there are no thermodynamic gotchas for letting the entrained seawater trays’ loads evaporate to the point of salt crystallization, maybe just run ’em near dry. Maybe. Thing is, such trays mass produced would be dâhmned cheap. Black chlorinated silicone tubing can be made really cheap, and doesn’t get eaten up by sunlight or salt water or oxidation; it also isn’t a scrap collectors coveted fuel stock. Goats don’t eat it. Inert and durable. Keeping the system’s leaks under control would be a pretty big

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  36. Actually your citation of evaporating sea water”” in the desert is good. IF (and it is a big IF) the goal is to lower the desert’s albedo”””” to absorb more sunlight as “”””heated area”””””” which in turn deposits that heat into ambient air which being heated relative to the stuff above rises which adiabatically cools which generates enhanced cloud cover which electrically precipitates more rain which greens the desert below… IF that is the goal”” then one needs only to have “”””something dark”””” covering the desert. Cheapest of all would be black plastic panels. Sheeting is too flimsy. Medium-sized panels”””” “”””tacked”””” into the sand with sand anchors”” would do the trick. Reduce albedo increase sunlight retention heat air more rain done. And minimally to worry about re: maintenance. Its OK if the panels get partially covered with dusts. Heck”” the increased rain ‘ll clean ’em. But of course “”””why not have the black panels do something else too?”””” comes. The next up”” almost-as-cheap-except-for-infrastructure (big exception!) would be to craft billions of 10 m² black plastic trays with transparent fitted bubble covers and interlined with piping. Salty sea water into ’em let ’em heat and evaporate lots of water in the day condense onto the plastic cover drips down sides is collected and shuttled off to the fresh-water pickup system. Lots of little tubes. Sand anchors. Maintenance. What to do with the brine? Its probably also valuable. Since there are no thermodynamic gotchas for letting the entrained seawater trays’ loads evaporate to the point of salt crystallization maybe just run ’em near dry. Maybe.Thing is such trays mass produced would be dâhmned cheap. Black chlorinated silicone tubing can be made really cheap and doesn’t get eaten up by sunlight or salt water or oxidation; it also isn’t a scrap collectors coveted fuel stock. Goats don’t eat it. Inert and durable. Keeping the system’s leaks under co”

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  37. So, doesn’t creating a lot more rain in the Sahara kind of negate the reason you’d build solar in the Sahara to begin with? The lack of cloud cover?

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  38. So doesn’t creating a lot more rain in the Sahara kind of negate the reason you’d build solar in the Sahara to begin with? The lack of cloud cover?

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  39. I doubt that prices remain so high if we decided to build so huge infrastructure. But it seems that it’s not well defined as this project is designed to create a secondary effect from build too much energy capture, probably so much that you cann’t use it locally in a usefull way and loose value with far transmission. Instead probably we could build specific platforms to maximize geoengineering effect with a much lower cost, like floating black structures where a little sea water enter and raise the temperature a lot though solar energy evaporating a lot more water. Cheap, simple and dedicated infrastructure to make a huge evaporation effect to allow this kind of transformation.

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  40. I doubt that prices remain so high if we decided to build so huge infrastructure. But it seems that it’s not well defined as this project is designed to create a secondary effect from build too much energy capture probably so much that you cann’t use it locally in a usefull way and loose value with far transmission.Instead probably we could build specific platforms to maximize geoengineering effect with a much lower cost like floating black structures where a little sea water enter and raise the temperature a lot though solar energy evaporating a lot more water.Cheap simple and dedicated infrastructure to make a huge evaporation effect to allow this kind of transformation.

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  41. The Sahara would serve better as location for rectennas, and their associated chemical plants, and other energy intensive industries. The sort of terawatt hours we’re talking about, are better generated in orbit, and transmitted to the surface of the planet.

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  42. The Sahara would serve better as location for rectennas and their associated chemical plants and other energy intensive industries. The sort of terawatt hours we’re talking about are better generated in orbit and transmitted to the surface of the planet.

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  43. LOL, what a useless study. I have no problems with blue-sky thinkers and “whatifs”, but this is clearly not well thought out. Technically, anything can get done, even if it nearly covers the area of the continental US and energy efficiency assumptions are, to say the least, extremely optimistic. Here is the problem: 1) Political. Last I looked there are 11 countries there. None are politically stable. The study assumes “someone” will build and own this “project” as if it’s some kind of United Nations borderless state. Then of course, there are implications for everyone on the planet. Call me when we are in StarTrek land. 2) Terraforming at this scale may have tremendous unintended consequences. “Let’s reflect the sun so it rains more in Europe and they can get electricity too”. Oops, now India is flooded, and we’ve got 6 feet of snow in Scandinavia, and it stopped raining in China. It’s too cold to grow grain in Canada so I guess steak and bread is off the table. This study is like a high school assignment. No, scratch that. It’s a junior high assignment. Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult junior high schoolers. It’s a conversation between intellectuals yet idiots.

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  44. LOL what a useless study. I have no problems with blue-sky thinkers and whatifs””” but this is clearly not well thought out. Technically anything can get done even if it nearly covers the area of the continental US and energy efficiency assumptions are to say the least”” extremely optimistic. Here is the problem:1) Political. Last I looked there are 11 countries there. None are politically stable. The study assumes “”””someone”””” will build and own this “”””project”””” as if it’s some kind of United Nations borderless state. Then of course”””” there are implications for everyone on the planet. Call me when we are in StarTrek land.2) Terraforming at this scale may have tremendous unintended consequences. “”””Let’s reflect the sun so it rains more in Europe and they can get electricity too””””. Oops”” now India is flooded and we’ve got 6 feet of snow in Scandinavia and it stopped raining in China. It’s too cold to grow grain in Canada so I guess steak and bread is off the table.This study is like a high school assignment. No scratch that. It’s a junior high assignment. Sorry”” I didn’t mean to insult junior high schoolers. It’s a conversation between intellectuals yet idiots.”””

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  45. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature. During the Stone Age, Sahara had rivers, forests and lakes, which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer, more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed, earth does not save energy but increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good. All the global warming after industrial time can be explained with less temperatures differences. Non with higher greenhouse effect from CO2, but CO2 have helped with 40% more plant mass. I some near future plant like sorek will provide desert with cheap water (3.5 kwh/ cubic meter fresh water). When most desert are transformed to forest the climate can go out from this lång ice age. (interglacial is a warmer period with in an ice age, but not warm enough to take the global climate out from the ice age).

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  46. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature. During the Stone Age Sahara had rivers forests and lakes which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed earth does not save energy but increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.All the global warming after industrial time can be explained with less temperatures differences. Non with higher greenhouse effect from CO2 but CO2 have helped with 40{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} more plant mass. I some near future plant like sorek will provide desert with cheap water (3.5 kwh/ cubic meter fresh water). When most desert are transformed to forest the climate can go out from this lång ice age. (interglacial is a warmer period with in an ice age but not warm enough to take the global climate out from the ice age).”

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  47. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature. During the Stone Age, Sahara had rivers, forests and lakes, which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer, more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed, the earth does not save energy without increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.

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  48. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature.During the Stone Age Sahara had rivers forests and lakes which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed the earth does not save energy without increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.

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  49. That power will be generated only in the Sahara and localized to immediate distribution. It can not be spread all over the world. Duh!

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  50. That power will be generated only in the Sahara and localized to immediate distribution. It can not be spread all over the world. Duh!

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  51. It would be cheaper than that – every doubling in volume will reduce the price by at least 7%. The biggest remaining cost is the setup. They would make it easy to just offload from a truck and hook up (everything built as is in the factory) another big savings. It is off by 4x or more. They should bid on it and pay for the bid. It will be less than 10 is my guess (trillion that is!!)

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  52. It would be cheaper than that – every doubling in volume will reduce the price by at least 7{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. The biggest remaining cost is the setup. They would make it easy to just offload from a truck and hook up (everything built as is in the factory) another big savings. It is off by 4x or more.They should bid on it and pay for the bid. It will be less than 10 is my guess (trillion that is!!)

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  53. 79 trillion or so for that nah I’ve got a much more grandiose idea. lets build a rammed earth “Wall” a km or so high that redirects wind from southern Africa that will green the Sahara like it usually gets greened in the ancient past. It will be a glorious wall!

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  54. 79 trillion or so for that nah I’ve got a much more grandiose idea. lets build a rammed earth Wall”” a km or so high that redirects wind from southern Africa that will green the Sahara like it usually gets greened in the ancient past. It will be a glorious wall!”””

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  55. It would be cheaper than that – every doubling in volume will reduce the price by at least 7%. The biggest remaining cost is the setup. They would make it easy to just offload from a truck and hook up (everything built as is in the factory) another big savings. It is off by 4x or more.

    They should bid on it and pay for the bid. It will be less than 10 is my guess (trillion that is!!)

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  56. Nah, if you want to darken the desert, put a bunch of cheap, sooty coal power plants on the upwind edge of the desert. Problem solved.

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  57. First of all, the estimated cost of developing a Martian lichen is just a guess. A wild guess based on zero previous projects that have accomplished anything similar. You may be right, but there is no basis for the calculation. Secondly, even a perfect lichen that spread over the entire planet of Mars and converted all the CO2 to O2… well now what? As it stands Mars has only 0.6% of Earth Atmospheric pressure. If we remove all the carbon from the atmosphere, it now has what 25% less than that. 0.45% of Earth. Hardly a terrestrial atmosphere. And now the system failed to post my comment the second time around, and demands I change the comment to try again. Primum omnium, est extimationis pretium developing Martia lichenas est coniectura. Fusce sagittis sagittis urna nulla fera ullo A secundum quod aliquid actum sit similis. Te potest iustum esse, sed nulla ex calculo. Tum etiam perfecte convertant lichenas pervaderet omnia totius orbis Martis in CO2 O2 … quid tum? Mars solus habet illa stat sicut atmosphaerica 0.6% in terris pressura. Si removere omnem carbo carbonis ab aere, nunc ut id quod est minus quam XXV%. 0,45% de terra. In atmosphaera vix ad terrestres veniamus. Et iam defecit ratio est autem post me comment secundo circuitu est, et petit mea mutata est in comment, iterum conare.

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  58. First of all the estimated cost of developing a Martian lichen is just a guess. A wild guess based on zero previous projects that have accomplished anything similar. You may be right but there is no basis for the calculation.Secondly even a perfect lichen that spread over the entire planet of Mars and converted all the CO2 to O2… well now what? As it stands Mars has only 0.6{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth Atmospheric pressure. If we remove all the carbon from the atmosphere it now has what 25{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} less than that. 0.45{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth. Hardly a terrestrial atmosphere.And now the system failed to post my comment the second time around and demands I change the comment to try again.Primum omnium est extimationis pretium developing Martia lichenas est coniectura. Fusce sagittis sagittis urna nulla fera ullo A secundum quod aliquid actum sit similis. Te potest iustum esse sed nulla ex calculo. Tum etiam perfecte convertant lichenas pervaderet omnia totius orbis Martis in CO2 O2 … quid tum? Mars solus habet illa stat sicut atmosphaerica 0.6{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} in terris pressura. Si removere omnem carbo carbonis ab aere nunc ut id quod est minus quam XXV{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. 045{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} de terra. In atmosphaera vix ad terrestres veniamus. Et iam defecit ratio est autem post me comment secundo circuitu est et petit mea mutata est in comment iterum conare.

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  59. Actually, the most efficient way to run a car is called “pulse-and-glide driving” where you accelerate for a while and then coast down again. Just to distract from the actual point of your comment. Atque iam haec agentibus maxime iter car dicitur currere a “pulsus et impellens paria sublabi, ‘ubi tu et accelerate aliquamdiu oram usque adhuc. Just considunt ut distenderent ab ipsa parte vestri comment.

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  60. Actually the most efficient way to run a car is called pulse-and-glide driving”” where you accelerate for a while and then coast down again.Just to distract from the actual point of your comment.Atque iam haec agentibus maxime iter car dicitur currere a “”””pulsus et impellens paria sublabi”””” ‘ubi tu et accelerate aliquamdiu oram usque adhuc. Just considunt ut distenderent ab ipsa parte vestri comment.”””

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  61. Who cares about mathematical realities? Libtards don’t ‘do math’ when it comes to pitching their BS. “Yes, I realize that Medicare For All would cost 30 trillion dollars over 10 years. But think about it – trillion is just a billion with 3 zeros added. And zeros have no value. so there is no real cost.” – Alexandra ‘Future Of The Democrat Party’ Ocasio-Cortez responding to an interview question

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  62. Who cares about mathematical realities? Libtards don’t ‘do math’ when it comes to pitching their BS.Yes” I realize that Medicare For All would cost 30 trillion dollars over 10 years. But think about it – trillion is just a billion with 3 zeros added. And zeros have no value. so there is no real cost.””- Alexandra ‘Future Of The Democrat Party’ Ocasio-Cortez responding to an interview question”””

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  63. Darn… off by factor-of-two. Area is (A = πr²) not (A = 2πr²) … so 17 GW instead of 34 GW, and 7,500 m on a side instead of 11,000. But still … pretty darn large. Vast, actually. Size of a pretty big city. From the ground, (7.5 km • √(2)) ÷ 35,700 km = 0.000306 radians (divided by 2π times 360) = 0.017° or about ¹⁄₂₈ size of the moon. It’d look thru strong spotters binoculars like the Moon, to unaided eyes. Whereas Mars (at its closest conjunction, about ½ AU distant or 75,000,000 km), thru the same binoculars remains “just a big spot”. ¹⁄₁₀₀ size of Luna. However, the Space-Power station would pretty much be the brightest “star” in the night sky unless well cloaked by its designers. The rectantennae would have to be pretty amazing things in their own right. 37 millimeter wavelength requires dipoles at 1 wavelength spacing for near 100% pickup. 6,600 m circle of dipoles … 31 BILLION little antennae dipoles in that 6,600 m diameter circle. Just saying… Big.

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  64. Darn… off by factor-of-two. Area is (A = πr²) not (A = 2πr²) … so 17 GW instead of 34 GW and 7500 m on a side instead of 11000. But still … pretty darn large. Vast actually. Size of a pretty big city. From the ground (7.5 km • √(2)) ÷ 35700 km = 0.000306 radians (divided by 2π times 360) = 0.017° or about ¹⁄₂₈ size of the moon. It’d look thru strong spotters binoculars like the Moon to unaided eyes.Whereas Mars (at its closest conjunction about ½ AU distant or 75000000 km) thru the same binoculars remains just a big spot””. ¹⁄₁₀₀ size of Luna. However”””” the Space-Power station would pretty much be the brightest “”””star”””” in the night sky unless well cloaked by its designers. The rectantennae would have to be pretty amazing things in their own right. 37 millimeter wavelength requires dipoles at 1 wavelength spacing for near 100{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} pickup. 6″”600 m circle of dipoles … 31 BILLION little antennae dipoles in that 6″”600 m diameter circle. Just saying…Big.”””””””

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  65. There are places where Europe and African are pretty close like the Rock of Gibraltar. Also there is an entire continent south that could use all that power with a future population in the billions.

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  66. There are places where Europe and African are pretty close like the Rock of Gibraltar. Also there is an entire continent south that could use all that power with a future population in the billions.

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  67. Goat. The power could be microwave beamed to the rest of the world. High tension power lines to Europe, Africa, Asia. No one poaches HV electricity. Biggest problems would be terrorists. Could bury the HV transmission lines. The solar panels could boot strap itself. You do have a lot of sand and idle hands. The power could be used to desalinate water to grow food. and cotton.

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  68. Goat. The power could be microwave beamed to the rest of the world. High tension power lines to Europe Africa Asia. No one poaches HV electricity. Biggest problems would be terrorists. Could bury the HV transmission lines. The solar panels could boot strap itself. You do have a lot of sand and idle hands. The power could be used to desalinate water to grow food. and cotton.

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  69. 79 trillion or so for that nah I’ve got a much more grandiose idea. lets build a rammed earth “Wall” a km or so high that redirects wind from southern Africa that will green the Sahara like it usually gets greened in the ancient past. It will be a glorious wall!

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  70. The plan would only increase rainfall 16x. 16 x almost 0 means the area would still be semi-arid, so there wouldn’t be a critical lack of sunlight due to cloud cover.

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  71. The plan would only increase rainfall 16x. 16 x almost 0 means the area would still be semi-arid so there wouldn’t be a critical lack of sunlight due to cloud cover.

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  72. Others have already said it: this is ridiculous — in the scale imagined. • Can’t distribute the power to 90% of the planet • Can’t directly use the power (but you could: make a lot of aluminum) • Can’t imaginably defend against poachers • Can’t scale the silicon industry to pave millions of km² per year… Sorry, but as exercises go, its just a Science Fiction fantasy. Just saying, GoatGuy

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  73. Others have already said it: this is ridiculous — in the scale imagined. • Can’t distribute the power to 90{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the planet• Can’t directly use the power (but you could: make a lot of aluminum)• Can’t imaginably defend against poachers• Can’t scale the silicon industry to pave millions of km² per year… Sorry but as exercises go its just a Science Fiction fantasy.Just sayingGoatGuy”

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  74. Corrosion comes to mind. But hey… there are ways around that. Solar panels — at least the topside (and bottoms, but not the edges) are largely hermetic. Glass sandwiches. So yah… place a reflective berm around the side “make a basin”, quarter fill with sea water, make power AND fresh water at the same time. Still, just got to get rid of the brine; can’t exactly pour it into the desert (but I suppose you could, for a LONG time) Yep, good. ⊕1 to you =goat=

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  75. Corrosion comes to mind.But hey… there are ways around that. Solar panels — at least the topside (and bottoms but not the edges) are largely hermetic. Glass sandwiches. So yah… place a reflective berm around the side make a basin””” quarter fill with sea water make power AND fresh water at the same time. Still just got to get rid of the brine; can’t exactly pour it into the desert (but I suppose you could for a LONG time)Yep”” good. ⊕1 to you=goat=”””””””

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  76. We’re using something like 160,000 TWh per year globally. This is proposing 82 TW generating capacity, at something like 10 hours per day, all year (before the rains kick in) => 300,000 TWh per year, almost double what the whole world needs. Kind of hard to get that to the Americas or Australia, so it’s way more than what can be distributed from there, even if you put transmission cables over or under the Mediterranean. So it would be fine to mix that with your tarp idea. As it is, this idea is rather overblown (and I like renewables… where it makes sense).

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  77. We’re using something like 160000 TWh per year globally. This is proposing 82 TW generating capacity at something like 10 hours per day all year (before the rains kick in) => 300000 TWh per year almost double what the whole world needs. Kind of hard to get that to the Americas or Australia so it’s way more than what can be distributed from there even if you put transmission cables over or under the Mediterranean. So it would be fine to mix that with your tarp idea. As it is this idea is rather overblown (and I like renewables… where it makes sense).

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  78. Why not transparent evaporation panels over solar cells? Salt water is transparent, solar cells are near black, and transform most of the light into heat.

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  79. Why not transparent evaporation panels over solar cells? Salt water is transparent solar cells are near black and transform most of the light into heat.

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  80. An IEAE forecast circa 2012 of investment required to meet power needs by 2050 was about $100 trillion. Whether it is solar panels in the Sahara or SBSP or fusion $100 trillion will be needed.

    The DESERTEC idea continues to be pursued. From the Wiki:
    < Dr Gerhard Knies, a German particle physicist and founder of the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) network of researchers. In 1986, in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, he was searching for a potential alternative source of clean energy and arrived at the following remarkable conclusion: in just six hours, the world's deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes in a year.> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec

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  81. Often said, seldom numerically confirmed. GEOSYNCHRONOUS power generation definitely needs pretty large distributed microwave antennae to pick up the power, Earthside. Geosynchronous is FAR up there. 35,920 km to be exact. ALMOST as far away as the earth is around (circumference). Remembering (as I do every so often) that (angular divergence ≡ 1.22 λ / diameter) where λ is wavelength (in meters), then using “8 GHz” as the frequency, and what, 250 meters as the diameter?: λ = c / frequency λ = 299,792,458 ÷ 8,000,000,000 λ = 0.03747 m divergence = 1.22 λ / D divergence = 1.22 × 0.03747 ÷ 250 divergence = 0.000183 radians And if we go with the trigonometric (spotsize = divergence • distance) more or less: spotsize = divergence • distance spotsize = 0.000183 × 35,920 km spotsize = 6.57 km Well, there you are. Our ¼ kilometer (250 m) transmitting antenna requires a 6,600 meter “rectantenna” down here on old Dirt in order to pick up the power. At 95% or better efficiency. Let’s see. Assuming 500 W/m² maximum allowable incoming power (safety), that’s power = area • specific power power = 2πr² • sp. power power = 6.28 × 3,300² × 500 power = 34,000,000,000 W Well! 34 gigawatts. Cool. In space, one might conjure 30% multilayer PV as “the norm”, thru sophisticated in-vacuuo manufacturing. Insolation watts are: insolation power = power / efficiency insolation power = 34 GW ÷ 0.30 insolation power = 114 GW area = insolation power ÷ 1363 area = 114 GW ÷ 1363 area = 83,600,000 m² linear = √( 83,600,000 ) linear = 9,150 m So a rectangular array GREATER than 9 km on a side. With filling gaps and so on, 11+ km. That’s a big array. Just saying GoatGuy

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  82. Often said seldom numerically confirmed. GEOSYNCHRONOUS power generation definitely needs pretty large distributed microwave antennae to pick up the power Earthside. Geosynchronous is FAR up there. 35920 km to be exact. ALMOST as far away as the earth is around (circumference). Remembering (as I do every so often) that (angular divergence ≡ 1.22 λ / diameter) where λ is wavelength (in meters) then using 8 GHz”” as the frequency”” and what 250 meters as the diameter?:λ = c / frequencyλ = 299792458 ÷ 800000λ = 0.03747 mdivergence = 1.22 λ / D divergence = 1.22 × 0.03747 ÷ 250divergence = 0.000183 radiansAnd if we go with the trigonometric (spotsize = divergence • distance) more or less:spotsize = divergence • distancespotsize = 0.000183 × 35920 kmspotsize = 6.57 kmWell there you are. Our ¼ kilometer (250 m) transmitting antenna requires a 6″”600 meter “”””rectantenna”””” down here on old Dirt in order to pick up the power. At 95{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} or better efficiency. Let’s see. Assuming 500 W/m² maximum allowable incoming power (safety)”” that’spower = area • specific powerpower = 2πr² • sp. powerpower = 6.28 × 3300² × 500power = 3400000 WWell! 34 gigawatts. Cool. In space”” one might conjure 30{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} multilayer PV as “”””the norm”””””” thru sophisticated in-vacuuo manufacturing. Insolation watts are:insolation power = power / efficiencyinsolation power = 34 GW ÷ 0.30insolation power = 114 GWarea = insolation power ÷ 1363area = 114 GW ÷ 1363area = 83600000 m²linear = √( 83600000 )linear = 9150 mSo a rectangular array GREATER than 9 km on a side. With filling gaps and so on”” 11+ km. That’s a big array.Just sayingGoatGuy”””””””

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  83. Really? Ummm… it’d sure be good to see a citation on that. Especially since “giving a WHOLE planet an atmosphere” is without a doubt 3 or 4 orders of magnitude (i.e. 1,000 to 10,000 x) greater than paving the Sahara with Magic Power Crystals. Just saying, GoatGuy

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  84. Really? Ummm… it’d sure be good to see a citation on that. Especially since giving a WHOLE planet an atmosphere”” is without a doubt 3 or 4 orders of magnitude (i.e. 1″”000 to 10000 x) greater than paving the Sahara with Magic Power Crystals. Just saying””GoatGuy”””

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  85. Actually, your citation of “evaporating sea water” in the desert is good. IF (and it is a big IF) the goal is to lower the desert’s albedo, to absorb more sunlight as “heated area”, which in turn deposits that heat into ambient air, which being heated relative to the stuff above, rises, which adiabatically cools, which generates enhanced cloud cover, which electrically precipitates more rain, which greens the desert below… IF that is the goal, then one needs only to have “something dark” covering the desert. Cheapest of all would be black plastic panels. Sheeting is too flimsy. Medium-sized panels, “tacked” into the sand with sand anchors, would do the trick. Reduce albedo, increase sunlight retention, heat air, more rain, done. And minimally to worry about re: maintenance. Its OK if the panels get partially covered with dusts. Heck, the increased rain ‘ll clean ’em. But of course “why not have the black panels do something else too?” comes. The next up, almost-as-cheap-except-for-infrastructure (big exception!) would be to craft billions of 10 m² black plastic trays with transparent fitted bubble covers and interlined with piping. Salty sea water into ’em, let ’em heat and evaporate lots of water in the day, condense onto the plastic cover, drips down sides, is collected and shuttled off to the fresh-water pickup system. Lots of little tubes. Sand anchors. Maintenance. What to do with the brine? Its probably also valuable. Since there are no thermodynamic gotchas for letting the entrained seawater trays’ loads evaporate to the point of salt crystallization, maybe just run ’em near dry. Maybe. Thing is, such trays mass produced would be dâhmned cheap. Black chlorinated silicone tubing can be made really cheap, and doesn’t get eaten up by sunlight or salt water or oxidation; it also isn’t a scrap collectors coveted fuel stock. Goats don’t eat it. Inert and durable. Keeping the system’s leaks under control would be a pretty big

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  86. Actually your citation of evaporating sea water”” in the desert is good. IF (and it is a big IF) the goal is to lower the desert’s albedo”””” to absorb more sunlight as “”””heated area”””””” which in turn deposits that heat into ambient air which being heated relative to the stuff above rises which adiabatically cools which generates enhanced cloud cover which electrically precipitates more rain which greens the desert below… IF that is the goal”” then one needs only to have “”””something dark”””” covering the desert. Cheapest of all would be black plastic panels. Sheeting is too flimsy. Medium-sized panels”””” “”””tacked”””” into the sand with sand anchors”” would do the trick. Reduce albedo increase sunlight retention heat air more rain done. And minimally to worry about re: maintenance. Its OK if the panels get partially covered with dusts. Heck”” the increased rain ‘ll clean ’em. But of course “”””why not have the black panels do something else too?”””” comes. The next up”” almost-as-cheap-except-for-infrastructure (big exception!) would be to craft billions of 10 m² black plastic trays with transparent fitted bubble covers and interlined with piping. Salty sea water into ’em let ’em heat and evaporate lots of water in the day condense onto the plastic cover drips down sides is collected and shuttled off to the fresh-water pickup system. Lots of little tubes. Sand anchors. Maintenance. What to do with the brine? Its probably also valuable. Since there are no thermodynamic gotchas for letting the entrained seawater trays’ loads evaporate to the point of salt crystallization maybe just run ’em near dry. Maybe.Thing is such trays mass produced would be dâhmned cheap. Black chlorinated silicone tubing can be made really cheap and doesn’t get eaten up by sunlight or salt water or oxidation; it also isn’t a scrap collectors coveted fuel stock. Goats don’t eat it. Inert and durable. Keeping the system’s leaks under co”

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  87. So, doesn’t creating a lot more rain in the Sahara kind of negate the reason you’d build solar in the Sahara to begin with? The lack of cloud cover?

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  88. So doesn’t creating a lot more rain in the Sahara kind of negate the reason you’d build solar in the Sahara to begin with? The lack of cloud cover?

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  89. First of all, the estimated cost of developing a Martian lichen is just a guess. A wild guess based on zero previous projects that have accomplished anything similar. You may be right, but there is no basis for the calculation.

    Secondly, even a perfect lichen that spread over the entire planet of Mars and converted all the CO2 to O2… well now what? As it stands Mars has only 0.6% of Earth Atmospheric pressure. If we remove all the carbon from the atmosphere, it now has what 25% less than that. 0.45% of Earth. Hardly a terrestrial atmosphere.

    And now the system failed to post my comment the second time around, and demands I change the comment to try again.

    Primum omnium, est extimationis pretium developing Martia lichenas est coniectura. Fusce sagittis sagittis urna nulla fera ullo A secundum quod aliquid actum sit similis. Te potest iustum esse, sed nulla ex calculo. Tum etiam perfecte convertant lichenas pervaderet omnia totius orbis Martis in CO2 O2 … quid tum? Mars solus habet illa stat sicut atmosphaerica 0.6% in terris pressura. Si removere omnem carbo carbonis ab aere, nunc ut id quod est minus quam XXV%. 0,45% de terra. In atmosphaera vix ad terrestres veniamus. Et iam defecit ratio est autem post me comment secundo circuitu est, et petit mea mutata est in comment, iterum conare.

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  90. Actually, the most efficient way to run a car is called “pulse-and-glide driving” where you accelerate for a while and then coast down again.

    Just to distract from the actual point of your comment.

    Atque iam haec agentibus maxime iter car dicitur currere a “pulsus et impellens paria sublabi, ‘ubi tu et accelerate aliquamdiu oram usque adhuc. Just considunt ut distenderent ab ipsa parte vestri comment.

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  91. I doubt that prices remain so high if we decided to build so huge infrastructure. But it seems that it’s not well defined as this project is designed to create a secondary effect from build too much energy capture, probably so much that you cann’t use it locally in a usefull way and loose value with far transmission. Instead probably we could build specific platforms to maximize geoengineering effect with a much lower cost, like floating black structures where a little sea water enter and raise the temperature a lot though solar energy evaporating a lot more water. Cheap, simple and dedicated infrastructure to make a huge evaporation effect to allow this kind of transformation.

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  92. I doubt that prices remain so high if we decided to build so huge infrastructure. But it seems that it’s not well defined as this project is designed to create a secondary effect from build too much energy capture probably so much that you cann’t use it locally in a usefull way and loose value with far transmission.Instead probably we could build specific platforms to maximize geoengineering effect with a much lower cost like floating black structures where a little sea water enter and raise the temperature a lot though solar energy evaporating a lot more water.Cheap simple and dedicated infrastructure to make a huge evaporation effect to allow this kind of transformation.

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  93. Who cares about mathematical realities? Libtards don’t ‘do math’ when it comes to pitching their BS.

    “Yes, I realize that Medicare For All would cost 30 trillion dollars over 10 years. But think about it – trillion is just a billion with 3 zeros added. And zeros have no value. so there is no real cost.”

    – Alexandra ‘Future Of The Democrat Party’ Ocasio-Cortez responding to an interview question

    Reply
  94. Darn… off by factor-of-two. Area is (A = πr²) not (A = 2πr²) … so 17 GW instead of 34 GW, and 7,500 m on a side instead of 11,000. But still … pretty darn large. Vast, actually. Size of a pretty big city.

    From the ground, (7.5 km • √(2)) ÷ 35,700 km = 0.000306 radians (divided by 2π times 360) = 0.017° or about ¹⁄₂₈ size of the moon. It’d look thru strong spotters binoculars like the Moon, to unaided eyes.

    Whereas Mars (at its closest conjunction, about ½ AU distant or 75,000,000 km), thru the same binoculars remains “just a big spot”. ¹⁄₁₀₀ size of Luna. However, the Space-Power station would pretty much be the brightest “star” in the night sky unless well cloaked by its designers.

    The rectantennae would have to be pretty amazing things in their own right. 37 millimeter wavelength requires dipoles at 1 wavelength spacing for near 100% pickup. 6,600 m circle of dipoles … 31 BILLION little antennae dipoles in that 6,600 m diameter circle.

    Just saying…
    Big.

    Reply
  95. There are places where Europe and African are pretty close like the Rock of Gibraltar. Also there is an entire continent south that could use all that power with a future population in the billions.

    Reply
  96. Goat. The power could be microwave beamed to the rest of the world. High tension power lines to Europe, Africa, Asia. No one poaches HV electricity. Biggest problems would be terrorists. Could bury the HV transmission lines. The solar panels could boot strap itself. You do have a lot of sand and idle hands.

    The power could be used to desalinate water to grow food. and cotton.

    Reply
  97. The Sahara would serve better as location for rectennas, and their associated chemical plants, and other energy intensive industries. The sort of terawatt hours we’re talking about, are better generated in orbit, and transmitted to the surface of the planet.

    Reply
  98. The Sahara would serve better as location for rectennas and their associated chemical plants and other energy intensive industries. The sort of terawatt hours we’re talking about are better generated in orbit and transmitted to the surface of the planet.

    Reply
  99. LOL, what a useless study. I have no problems with blue-sky thinkers and “whatifs”, but this is clearly not well thought out. Technically, anything can get done, even if it nearly covers the area of the continental US and energy efficiency assumptions are, to say the least, extremely optimistic. Here is the problem: 1) Political. Last I looked there are 11 countries there. None are politically stable. The study assumes “someone” will build and own this “project” as if it’s some kind of United Nations borderless state. Then of course, there are implications for everyone on the planet. Call me when we are in StarTrek land. 2) Terraforming at this scale may have tremendous unintended consequences. “Let’s reflect the sun so it rains more in Europe and they can get electricity too”. Oops, now India is flooded, and we’ve got 6 feet of snow in Scandinavia, and it stopped raining in China. It’s too cold to grow grain in Canada so I guess steak and bread is off the table. This study is like a high school assignment. No, scratch that. It’s a junior high assignment. Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult junior high schoolers. It’s a conversation between intellectuals yet idiots.

    Reply
  100. LOL what a useless study. I have no problems with blue-sky thinkers and whatifs””” but this is clearly not well thought out. Technically anything can get done even if it nearly covers the area of the continental US and energy efficiency assumptions are to say the least”” extremely optimistic. Here is the problem:1) Political. Last I looked there are 11 countries there. None are politically stable. The study assumes “”””someone”””” will build and own this “”””project”””” as if it’s some kind of United Nations borderless state. Then of course”””” there are implications for everyone on the planet. Call me when we are in StarTrek land.2) Terraforming at this scale may have tremendous unintended consequences. “”””Let’s reflect the sun so it rains more in Europe and they can get electricity too””””. Oops”” now India is flooded and we’ve got 6 feet of snow in Scandinavia and it stopped raining in China. It’s too cold to grow grain in Canada so I guess steak and bread is off the table.This study is like a high school assignment. No scratch that. It’s a junior high assignment. Sorry”” I didn’t mean to insult junior high schoolers. It’s a conversation between intellectuals yet idiots.”””

    Reply
  101. Others have already said it: this is ridiculous — in the scale imagined.

    • Can’t distribute the power to 90% of the planet
    • Can’t directly use the power (but you could: make a lot of aluminum)
    • Can’t imaginably defend against poachers
    • Can’t scale the silicon industry to pave millions of km² per year…

    Sorry, but as exercises go, its just a Science Fiction fantasy.
    Just saying,

    GoatGuy

    Reply
  102. Corrosion comes to mind.

    But hey… there are ways around that. Solar panels — at least the topside (and bottoms, but not the edges) are largely hermetic. Glass sandwiches. So yah… place a reflective berm around the side “make a basin”, quarter fill with sea water, make power AND fresh water at the same time.

    Still, just got to get rid of the brine; can’t exactly pour it into the desert (but I suppose you could, for a LONG time)

    Yep, good. ⊕1 to you
    =goat=

    Reply
  103. We’re using something like 160,000 TWh per year globally. This is proposing 82 TW generating capacity, at something like 10 hours per day, all year (before the rains kick in) => 300,000 TWh per year, almost double what the whole world needs. Kind of hard to get that to the Americas or Australia, so it’s way more than what can be distributed from there, even if you put transmission cables over or under the Mediterranean.

    So it would be fine to mix that with your tarp idea. As it is, this idea is rather overblown (and I like renewables… where it makes sense).

    Reply
  104. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature. During the Stone Age, Sahara had rivers, forests and lakes, which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer, more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed, earth does not save energy but increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good. All the global warming after industrial time can be explained with less temperatures differences. Non with higher greenhouse effect from CO2, but CO2 have helped with 40% more plant mass. I some near future plant like sorek will provide desert with cheap water (3.5 kwh/ cubic meter fresh water). When most desert are transformed to forest the climate can go out from this lång ice age. (interglacial is a warmer period with in an ice age, but not warm enough to take the global climate out from the ice age).

    Reply
  105. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature. During the Stone Age Sahara had rivers forests and lakes which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed earth does not save energy but increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.All the global warming after industrial time can be explained with less temperatures differences. Non with higher greenhouse effect from CO2 but CO2 have helped with 40{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} more plant mass. I some near future plant like sorek will provide desert with cheap water (3.5 kwh/ cubic meter fresh water). When most desert are transformed to forest the climate can go out from this lång ice age. (interglacial is a warmer period with in an ice age but not warm enough to take the global climate out from the ice age).”

    Reply
  106. Often said, seldom numerically confirmed.

    GEOSYNCHRONOUS power generation definitely needs pretty large distributed microwave antennae to pick up the power, Earthside. Geosynchronous is FAR up there. 35,920 km to be exact. ALMOST as far away as the earth is around (circumference).

    Remembering (as I do every so often) that (angular divergence ≡ 1.22 λ / diameter) where λ is wavelength (in meters), then using “8 GHz” as the frequency, and what, 250 meters as the diameter?:

    λ = c / frequency
    λ = 299,792,458 ÷ 8,000,000,000
    λ = 0.03747 m

    divergence = 1.22 λ / D
    divergence = 1.22 × 0.03747 ÷ 250
    divergence = 0.000183 radians

    And if we go with the trigonometric (spotsize = divergence • distance) more or less:

    spotsize = divergence • distance
    spotsize = 0.000183 × 35,920 km
    spotsize = 6.57 km

    Well, there you are. Our ¼ kilometer (250 m) transmitting antenna requires a 6,600 meter “rectantenna” down here on old Dirt in order to pick up the power. At 95% or better efficiency.

    Let’s see. Assuming 500 W/m² maximum allowable incoming power (safety), that’s

    power = area • specific power
    power = 2πr² • sp. power
    power = 6.28 × 3,300² × 500
    power = 34,000,000,000 W

    Well! 34 gigawatts. Cool. In space, one might conjure 30% multilayer PV as “the norm”, thru sophisticated in-vacuuo manufacturing. Insolation watts are:

    insolation power = power / efficiency
    insolation power = 34 GW ÷ 0.30
    insolation power = 114 GW

    area = insolation power ÷ 1363
    area = 114 GW ÷ 1363
    area = 83,600,000 m²
    linear = √( 83,600,000 )
    linear = 9,150 m

    So a rectangular array GREATER than 9 km on a side. With filling gaps and so on, 11+ km.

    That’s a big array.
    Just saying
    GoatGuy

    Reply
  107. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature. During the Stone Age, Sahara had rivers, forests and lakes, which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer, more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed, the earth does not save energy without increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.

    Reply
  108. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature.During the Stone Age Sahara had rivers forests and lakes which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer more life-friendly climate. Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed the earth does not save energy without increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.

    Reply
  109. Really? Ummm… it’d sure be good to see a citation on that. Especially since “giving a WHOLE planet an atmosphere” is without a doubt 3 or 4 orders of magnitude (i.e. 1,000 to 10,000 x) greater than paving the Sahara with Magic Power Crystals.

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy

    Reply
  110. Actually, your citation of “evaporating sea water” in the desert is good.

    IF (and it is a big IF) the goal is to lower the desert’s albedo, to absorb more sunlight as “heated area”, which in turn deposits that heat into ambient air, which being heated relative to the stuff above, rises, which adiabatically cools, which generates enhanced cloud cover, which electrically precipitates more rain, which greens the desert below…

    IF that is the goal, then one needs only to have “something dark” covering the desert.

    Cheapest of all would be black plastic panels. Sheeting is too flimsy. Medium-sized panels, “tacked” into the sand with sand anchors, would do the trick. Reduce albedo, increase sunlight retention, heat air, more rain, done. And minimally to worry about re: maintenance. Its OK if the panels get partially covered with dusts. Heck, the increased rain ‘ll clean ’em.

    But of course “why not have the black panels do something else too?” comes.

    The next up, almost-as-cheap-except-for-infrastructure (big exception!) would be to craft billions of 10 m² black plastic trays with transparent fitted bubble covers and interlined with piping. Salty sea water into ’em, let ’em heat and evaporate lots of water in the day, condense onto the plastic cover, drips down sides, is collected and shuttled off to the fresh-water pickup system. Lots of little tubes. Sand anchors. Maintenance. What to do with the brine? Its probably also valuable. Since there are no thermodynamic gotchas for letting the entrained seawater trays’ loads evaporate to the point of salt crystallization, maybe just run ’em near dry. Maybe.

    Thing is, such trays mass produced would be dâhmned cheap. Black chlorinated silicone tubing can be made really cheap, and doesn’t get eaten up by sunlight or salt water or oxidation; it also isn’t a scrap collectors coveted fuel stock. Goats don’t eat it. Inert and durable.

    Keeping the system’s leaks under control would be a pretty big order. Today, humans, tomorrow robotics. But it could be done, and billions of liters of fresh water per square kilometer per week are possible.

    But of course, going the “next big step” then has our black desert cover as electricity generating PV panels. (The wind turbines are there as the “backup supply”). Generate a lot of power, but unfortunately no fresh water directly (could do reverse osmosis with the water!)

    WELL… there is nothing particularly exclusive between the three approaches. For maximum economy, the furthest reaches could just be black panels and sand anchors. The coasts, and near metropoli could be a combination of water desalination and energy production. Sea water is plentiful, and generating trillions of liters of fresh water per year — say “the yearly effluent of the Nile” — is noble.

    Just saying.
    GoatGuy

    Reply
  111. I doubt that prices remain so high if we decided to build so huge infrastructure. But it seems that it’s not well defined as this project is designed to create a secondary effect from build too much energy capture, probably so much that you cann’t use it locally in a usefull way and loose value with far transmission.

    Instead probably we could build specific platforms to maximize geoengineering effect with a much lower cost, like floating black structures where a little sea water enter and raise the temperature a lot though solar energy evaporating a lot more water.
    Cheap, simple and dedicated infrastructure to make a huge evaporation effect to allow this kind of transformation.

    Reply
  112. The Sahara would serve better as location for rectennas, and their associated chemical plants, and other energy intensive industries. The sort of terawatt hours we’re talking about, are better generated in orbit, and transmitted to the surface of the planet.

    Reply
  113. LOL, what a useless study. I have no problems with blue-sky thinkers and “whatifs”, but this is clearly not well thought out. Technically, anything can get done, even if it nearly covers the area of the continental US and energy efficiency assumptions are, to say the least, extremely optimistic. Here is the problem:

    1) Political. Last I looked there are 11 countries there. None are politically stable. The study assumes “someone” will build and own this “project” as if it’s some kind of United Nations borderless state. Then of course, there are implications for everyone on the planet. Call me when we are in StarTrek land.

    2) Terraforming at this scale may have tremendous unintended consequences. “Let’s reflect the sun so it rains more in Europe and they can get electricity too”. Oops, now India is flooded, and we’ve got 6 feet of snow in Scandinavia, and it stopped raining in China. It’s too cold to grow grain in Canada so I guess steak and bread is off the table.

    This study is like a high school assignment. No, scratch that. It’s a junior high assignment. Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult junior high schoolers. It’s a conversation between intellectuals yet idiots.

    Reply
  114. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature.

    During the Stone Age, Sahara had rivers, forests and lakes, which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer, more life-friendly climate.

    Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed, earth does not save energy but increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease.

    But we live in an ice age so that’s good.

    All the global warming after industrial time can be explained with less temperatures differences. Non with higher greenhouse effect from CO2, but CO2 have helped with 40% more plant mass.

    I some near future plant like sorek will provide desert with cheap water (3.5 kwh/ cubic meter fresh water). When most desert are transformed to forest the climate can go out from this lång ice age. (interglacial is a warmer period with in an ice age, but not warm enough to take the global climate out from the ice age).

    Reply
  115. Desert to forest => less temperature differences => higher average temperature.

    During the Stone Age, Sahara had rivers, forests and lakes, which gave the Northern Hemisphere a warmer, more life-friendly climate.

    Everyone knows that a car running at uneven speed draws more gas than if it keeps the same average speed at a steady speed, the earth does not save energy without increasing the average tempo as the temperature differences decrease. But we live in an ice age so that’s good.

    Reply

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