Power line in China could help bring cheap, sustainable electricity to the EU

Innovative technology used in a Chinese ‘electrical highway' could provide the solution to Europe's energy problems and ensure cheaper electricity for consumers.

Sustainable power project DESERTEC aims to provide the European Union (EU), the Middle East (ME) and North Africa (NA) with electricity generated from large concentrations of solar panels located in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East.

The EU, working in close cooperation, with MENA aims to create a network of long distance power lines carrying solar power from the deserts of Africa into Europe; because the electricity is generated by solar power it would be available at a lower cost than power generated by conventional sources, which are subject to rising prices relating to supply and demand issues.

Currently the technology needed to transport electricity from the desert to households in Europe is unavailable due to the large amount of power lost in transporting power over such a distance. Currently about 3 percent of electricity is lost per 1000 km of cables meaning 15 percent of power generated in the desert would be lost before it reached Europe.

However electrical company Siemens announced on August 1 the successful operation of an innovative 'electric highway in China.' The electricity carried by this highway is generated by hydropower and then transported 1,500 km from Yunnan province to the industrial heartland of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. This ‘electric highway' uses a new transformer capable of carrying 800kv, a world first in the field of power generation; this transformer ensures that less than 2 percent of power is lost in transport and the cost of electricity remains low for the Chinese consumers.  

It is estimated that the successful implementation of technologies similar to those used in China for the DESERTEC project could reduce the cost of electricity to 3/4 euro cents per kWh (kilowatt hour). European statistic database Eurostat currently estimates the average cost of electricity for the household consumer at around 12 euro cents per kWh; electricity is most expensive for householders in Ireland at 18 euro cents  per kWh and cheapest for Bulgarians at 6.8 euro cents per kWh.

As well as financial benefits, projects such as the one in China and DESERTEC also have huge environmental bonuses; Siemens estimate that the ‘eclectric highway' reduces CO2 emissions by 30 million tons per year, and DESERTEC would hugely reduce Europe's reliance on fossil fuels.

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Broker / Purchaser

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Manager - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'