What If the Sahara Desert Was Covered With Solar Panels?



In a world exhausted of fossil fuels, solar panels can provide a sustainable solution to our energy problems. But they also come with a couple of issues: for one, solar farms are massive, and they have to be set up somewhere that gets a lot of sunlight.

Now, if only we had a large mass of unused land that gets guaranteed sunlight everyday… Could we cover an entire desert in solar panels? Would that be enough to power the entire world? What kind of problems could we run into?

Transcript and sources:

Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates

Watch more what-if scenarios:
Planet Earth:
Cosmos:
Technology:
Your Body:

About What If: Ever found yourself contemplating what might happen if the big picture that makes up life in our universe was a little… different? The grand speculative scenarios and bizarre possibilities we’ve all wondered about get entertainingly answered with science and facts in What If.

Follow what-if on Instagram for bonus material:
Suggest an episode:
Follow the show on Facebook Watch:
Feedback, inquiries and suggestions:
[ad_2]

Advertisements

31 comments

  1. Even if we covered it of solar panels, the electrical transportation losses are so big that would make it pointless. As it is said at the end of the video, the best solution is to increase the local production to supply the energy demand.

  2. I thought I would get some estimates on the average outputs and real data about the energy itself. This video sounded more like why doing it wouldn't work.

  3. One of reason (which i didn't see in the video) why they don't use solar panels in Sahara is heat. If the panels heat up they harvest less energy due to semiconductors they use. More heat more resistance then less power output and also panels and inverters (that they are used in solar power plants) outputs heat. So the usable energy that we get isn't as much as we need. Plus the building cost of a plant that will be made in a desert, plus the sand that will cover the panels. Next time do some research and try to acknowledge all the sides of a problem. We need more informative videos, not cheep fast and click bait videos

  4. The panels will melt. At least 40 per cent of Sahara record temperatures above 40 degrees celcius at peak hours during the day and sub zero temperatures at night. You will need special materials that can survive such extreme variations for long including insulation materials for the cables. Current panels wont last long in the Sahara rendering investment costly. But the good news is, it can be done but with more R & D

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *