Sahara-based solar power project could help power Europe within 5 years
European project Desertec could power Europe within five years as solar technology in walls and curtains comes closer to being commercially viable.
The European energy commissioner recently announced that Europe could draw clean energy from solar panels constructed in the Saharan desert within five years, half the initial 10-year estimate. The series of solar projects in Northern Africa known as Desertec are funded with the help of the EU and some European companies, in the hope that the EU will meet its target of generating 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The latest statistics from Europe's Energy Portal show that in 2006 the EU as a whole produced 9.2 percent of its energy from renewable sources, however the production of renewable energy and the target EU members hope to meet by 2020 varies from country to country. For example Malta, which produced 0 percent of its energy through renewable resources in 2006, aims to meet a target of 10 percent by 2020, while the Czech Republic which produced 6.5 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2006 aims to increase this to 13 percent by 2020.
Solar technology could also soon become practical on a smaller scale, being used in households in order to reduce individual carbon footprints and increase domestic reliance on renewable energy. Konarka technologies have been developing thin film photovoltaic for nine years and are currently in partnership with Arch Aluminum and Glass in an effort to produce solar technology that could be used in home fittings such as curtains or walls thereby reducing household reliance on fossil fuels. The cells under development can store and reuse light from lightbulbs as well as the sun and are made of recycled materials.
Other companies, such as Solar Technologies FZE, are also hoping to develop solar panels for use in private accommodation. Technology in small-scale architecture has been in development for several years and Hawaii-based company Sopogy released commercially available solar technology for rooftop installations in 2009.
From the blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
There are more empty shops on our high streets than ever before, says another report into the state ...
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.