Desertec’s promise of solar power for Europe fades. A huge project to provide energy to Europe by building solar thermal plants in the North African desert is in serious jeopardy. Gee, who coulda seen that coming? Anybody but the geniuses in the feckless European political class (well, throw in the feckless US political class, too.)

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Sidekick November 23, 2012 at 7:39 am

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I’d laugh if the same mentality did not exist here within our current administration.

poppajoe49 November 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

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Does anyone else see the problem here?
The expense of running the high tension cabling that would be required to carry the power that far would be highly prohibitive.
Why they don’t think building local nuclear power plants would be a good idea, is beyond me. They are cheaper and there is less of a chance of losing power to a large area if a line is cut somewhere.
Never mind, I know the answer. European liberalism.

DefHarryMelon November 23, 2012 at 10:04 am

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This is no problem at all. Truly progressive liberals understand that tankers can be retrofitted from filthy, dirty, disgusting petroleum conveyors into friendly green energy transporters. Why would electric power not be safer and easier to haul than oil? There is no reason! Picture a giant anode at one end of the ship and the counterpart cathode at the other. The electrolyte may be hazardous, but certainly greener than the greasy sludge of petroleum. Or not, but who cares? It ain’t about the power of electricity, its about the power over people. Won’t all this anti-petroleum business pizz off the saudis and all the other purveyors of oil?

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

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One IED, placed in the middle of nowhere, and all of Europe is dark, until the damage is repaired. While the damage is being repaired, another IED is set in another location. Islam would have a field day.

Missile Command November 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm

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LOL! How true.

Elrond Hubbard November 23, 2012 at 8:14 am

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This project is a bad joke. If I were a European, I’d be opposed to having my power supply generated on another continent. Especially a continent that is politically unstable and dominated by religious lunatics who wouldn’t hesitate to hold the whole project hostage to their irrational demands. Too, if this Sahara solar power goes forward it will go disastrously over budget and will never generate the promised electricity. Unfortunately, the same idiot “green energy” mentality that dominates Europe has now come to dominate the United States…thank you, voters.

I'm With STUPID November 23, 2012 at 8:20 am

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New research shows, albeit unintentional, that generating electricity with solar panels can also be a very bad idea. In some cases, producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal.

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html

I'm With STUPID November 23, 2012 at 8:36 am

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Solar panel life span expected degrades overtime starting at 100% to 80% at installation and degrading over time at roughly 15 years functioning at 15% production. Many units have to be replaced before expected lifespan depending on climate of installation.

Nuclear reactors life spans extend well beyond 50 years.
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/nuclear-power/

I agree with poppajoe49 that Europeans would be smart to use nuclear energy. In fact France has three nuclear reactors scheduled for closings and one new reactor that has been under construction for the last 20 years. The social liberal politicians that run in France run on the premise of closing reactors to appease the liberal masses.

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

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There isn’t any technical detail in the story, but from the pictures I saw, they don’t intend to use PV panels. One, they are insanely expensive per watt, and then there is the degradation factor. From the photos with the story, it seems they would use mirrors to generate steam, which is a much more efficient use of the sun’s energy.

That still doesn’t answer the question of transporting all this energy FROM unstable, (Islamic), countries, across unstable, (Islamic), countries, and distributing it across what is becoming unstable, (Islamic), Europe.

I'm With STUPID November 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

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It is questionable how in the past the Europeans were very willing to build nuclear reactors for middle east countries as a bargaining chip for oil treaties. The Europeans don’t want reactors themselves.

Maybe they are going to try something old [Tesla] in a new way or have been able to unlock new technology:

http://io9.com/5127125/the-greatest-inventions-nikola-tesla-never-created

flashingscotsman November 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

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Something else Tesla never invented. A car with his name on it that self ignites without warning.

poppajoe49 November 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

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Yet, they will credit/blame it on him.

ooddballz November 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

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We were just informed that, here in Germany our electric costs are going up 12 percent. Well, it was 12. something, but I rounded down.

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

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Small increase in comparison to what Dear Leader has planned for us here.

Missile Command November 23, 2012 at 9:32 am

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Governments in Europe and the US should immediately halt using all nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas power sources. All are too polluting. After 90 % of the population in these areas die off from lack of food and heat during this winter, the survivors will be put to work erecting new green power stations to help the Green Nazis rule properly. Then the green crusaders can go convert the other areas and save the planet. It is the ultimate green solution.

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:55 am

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Of course, Obama gets to decide which 90% dies, and which 10% survives, right?

Missile Command November 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

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Correct! And no one would relish such power more.

I'm With STUPID November 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

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Has anyone else seen the Ancient Aliens episode about how the Pyramids in Egypt may have been used as energy plants and transfer systems? Something about mixing chemicals inside, hydrogen 3 and salt, and tuning a hydrogen gas into microwave energy that was then sent to a satellite or mother ship. Twenty-nine ancient Egyptian obelisks are known to have survived and how obelisks are thought to be wireless transfer stations. Episode makes wireless energy transfer look easy. Anyway, if you haven’t this will definitely open your mind to how energy can be transmitted wireless in theory.

poppajoe49 November 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

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I’ll concede this point, in theory, electricity can be transmitted wirelessly, howeer, there is a huge gap between theory and reality.
As an electrician and an electronics technician, I am finding it very difficult to see it happening.

I'm With STUPID November 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

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I also believe it is very unlikely. There is a lot I don’t know and a lot that is hidden from the public. After the Roswell incident suddenly Tupperware was invented. Until this time man had not found a way to synthesis plastics like that.

I believe that for human existence to go from horse and buggy to drone strikes in less than 100 years is not explainable without outside influence. Europe was way ahead of the US on investigating UFO crashes. The Nazis went to great lengths to study and develop foo fighters. One of the most prominent Nazis then developed the V3 rocket and went on to found NASA and the Apollo mission.

Dragonfish November 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

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Ok, read below. My fault for not hitting the reply button.
The foo fighters, if real, would have used Tesla’s discoveries and technologies, and/or the Germans read and understood the Vedas’. No alien intervention needed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPkSg8V2O7A&feature=related

As for Tupperware, product of a chemical reaction involving oil.
Come on – find something more exotic then Tupperware to make the Alien Intervention argument with. lol.

http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/thanks-to-chemistry/ttc-food-tupperware.aspx

poppajoe49 November 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

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Well, as far as the advances we have made in 100 years, I don’t find it that unbelievable. Necessity, being the mother of invention, and 2 World Wars, being serious business, I believe that the amount of effort and money put into the business of war, made for some pretty big advances. Something as simple as the development of high reliability soldering techniques, made the space program advance quite quickly, just because of the amazing amount of weight that was saved by minimizing the solder in the electronics on board the rockets. it’s not all magic, but more simplicity.

flashingscotsman November 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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If anyone figures out a way to wirelessly transmit the entire electrical needs of Europe, I don’t want to get between the transmitter and receiver. I’ve had enough of that electrocution crap.

Dragonfish November 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Dragonfish November 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

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So poppa,
“an electrician and an electronics technician” – seems we have more in common than just IHTM, my DD-214n says I’m an ‘Electronics Mechanic’ – whatever that means. My civilian work, for 20 years, was at bank processing centers (2000 doc/min online check reader/sorters), the FED (1000 bill/minute fitness readers/sorters/shredders), bank branches (alarms to teller stations) and insurance companies (automated mail packagers/sorters and postal meters). Glad to formally introduce myself.
Now, I really have to go – putting in new wiring in one of my landlords rentals – time to crawl under the house and get it finished.
Later.

poppajoe49 November 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm

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LOL Dragonfish.
My DD-214 says Precision Measurement Equipment Specialist (PMEL) AKA Calibration and repair of electronic and physical measurement equipment. Basically, for the people in the medical field here, I am the flightline version of a biomedical equipment tech.
After the military, I did that for a few years, as well as working as a CAD designer, doing PC board layout design. Then went into electrical work, simply because it was a much easier field to find work. I was once offered a job calibrating instrumentation in nuke plants during recert and retrofit, but it required way more travel than I was willing to do.
Now, I have found myself doing home remodel work, which I really enjoy.

Dragonfish November 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm

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Whew, glad to be out from under that old house for today (only part of the job I don’t like) . Have 3 to 4 hours of work left, with less than an hour under the house (final connections on the last new circuit). However, my helper will be under the house for a little longer, that’s what helpers are for, right. Been there, done that, paid my dues, now it’s his turn. lol.
Know what you mean about turning down jobs that keep you away from home. Four years ago I turned down a maintenance tech position for the wind power generators in eastern WA/OR. For two reasons: 1. On the road all the time, living in motels and all the rest of the crap that goes w/travel. and 2. At 56 years old, I really couldn’t see myself hanging in a harness 285ft above the ground. Why tempt fate any more than necessary!
After framing and siding houses, working at a wrecking yard and installing fruit processing lines during the last 15 years, I have wound up, like you, doing electrical work. Along with fixing/rebuilding computers on the side. Keeps me busy and brings in enough income to pay the rent and the internet bill. Plus, enough extra to go fishing.
Enough, I’m rambling. Have a good night.

poppajoe49 November 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

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Ah, yes, helpers are a wonderful thing, aren’t they?
No more crawling under houses for me either. Almost got stuck last time, and I’m slightly claustrophobic.

Isn’t it funny how our priorities change as we get older?
Not looking to make a killing, just a living.

Dragonfish November 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

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How right you are! Priorities do change with age.
Now I work to live, 30-35 years ago I lived to work.
I enjoy things more now, work at my own pace. Not stressed out any more meeting others goals and demands.
That and more time for the important things in life – Fishing!

Dragonfish November 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

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Better yet: Since you (IWS, this was supposed to be a reply) went there (Conspiracy Theories) first,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5uiK_QnyrE&feature=related

Release ‘Tesla’s Discoveries’ (at least, quit killing/buying off/discrediting those that rediscover the principles and applications), charge us for the equipment, however let us harvest the energy individually (households, businesses, industry, …) as need dictates; diversify the grid. Quit centralizing everything to our detriment. I know, can’t put a meter on it (what a crock of shit).