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?

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50 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

  5. You are forgetting maintenance cost. Theres air so there would be sand covering the panels. You cant let that build up because that reduces energy capture efficiency. It would be reasonable to assume that maintenance would be frequent and costly.

  6. Doing this may be the ultimate case of unintended consequences. Sand reflects heat from the sun. Solar panels absorb it. What would happen if the Sahara were suddenly cooled by being covered with panels? No one knows but there is plenty of evidence for speculation.

  7. You left out the part because most of those countries would have to pay Africa and since so many countries wealth today come as a direct exploitation of African resources and old colonial taxes that wouldn't sit well with those countries

  8. Most panels would be covered by moving sand anyway. Without proper maintenance, solar farms are shit
    Theft would be your first concern.
    Transmission is second.
    Panels have a not so long life time so you need to replace all panels every few decades.

  9. There's still the issue of where the power comes from at night, the ever-present problem of solar panels. Energy storage is a problem-filled solution.

  10. This video has racism and discrimination. Do you really think Africa is a bad place. You talking about 5% of the countries at most. South Africa and Zimbabwe the worst. Don't be shit talking about Africa when you don't even know Africa yourself. Its really funny you know. Very funny.

  11. er… right. That was a waste of three minutes. I was expecting to actually learn something about what would happen if we covered the Sahara in solar panels, and most of it was vaguely conjectural, and not about that at all. Also, if you lose 10% of electric energy in transport, that does not increase the cost, it reduces the profit or increases the price of that power. If these kinds of spurious factoids are what this channel is full of, how did you manage to get 3.3M subscribers?

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