Billiger Strom aus der Wüste: Was wurde aus Desertec?
for several years the
desertec project has been planning to produce large amounts of solar power in africa and import it to europe the idea sounds very sensible at first because there is a lot of sun in the desert and there is also enough unused space the concept was even awarded several prizes but then it suddenly became rather quiet about the project, some of you kept asking me what happened to it and that's why i did a bit of research and can say so much we're now at
desertec 3.0, which
desertec had actually planned and whether we will soon finally be supplied with solar power from the sahara we now know that and welcome to brainlab jaka 4 let's go on july 18, 2022 at 1 p.m. a new record was set in germany at that time almost 80 percent of the electricity consumed was through solar energy covered that was more than 40 gigawatts of this value but we are normally still a good way away, on average, renewable energies make up 40 to 50 percent of electricity production and if you now look not just at electricity but at all of energy production, i.e. heating and so on, then the value shrinks to around 15% we have to use renewable energies so definitely expand but even then we in germany will probably not produce enough energy ourselves because we have significantly fewer hours of sunshine and wind than other countries according to a study by the fraunhofer institute we have to import 10 to 30 percent of energy to be climate-neutral by 20.45 but where is there there is now so much sun our lots of space for example in the sahara the basic idea of
desertec it is actually obvious the project that was a kind of hope for the green power supply in europe but what has become of it now where is all the solar power looking at Let's start from the beginning but before that something else other things, namely next tuesday 31.8 we will do a live title again here on which lab from 6 p.m. there i will be live again on site in one of the eight leibnitz research museums, this time in the museum for natural history in berlin it's about the influence of digitization research has knowledge transfer and museum collection and what new possibilities are opening up through new technologies i look at different technologies for digitization in the museum and will digitize live objects, for example there is a unique project there that means the details are also the so-called digitization road more than 5000 insects digitized per day, as always, i talk to super exciting experts who you can ask your questions live, we also switch live to other leibnitz research museums, the german museum in munich to see the real boxee there and to the german shipping museum there I was even digitized by photogram and I myself and there is also a live christian leeb you can participate so set a reminder circle is aft 6 p.m. here on breaking let’s get back to what
desertec actually planned at the beginning many companies united to to plan large-scale solar systems in the sahara these were technology companies like siemens companies from the financial sector and also the german center for air and space travel with the electricity produced they wanted to cover the local electricity demand and 17 percent of the european electricity demand the sahara stretches over nine million square kilometers and thus also across many national borders per square meter there is 2200 kilowatt hours of solar radiation in germany in the year we only get half of that on average so that all sounds very good at first already in 2020 satek wanted to bring large amounts of solar power from the sahara to europe and how We can't really see what that was like at the time, but to be honest, it wasn't a big surprise.
In 2013, several large investors got out and the usefulness of the project was first questioned necessary to implement the
desertec project in the planned size if you should then 50 solar power plants and high-voltage direct current transmission lines with a total capacity of 100 gigawatts are to be financed and these costs were simply too high for many involved on these special lines I'll come back to the are still important for the project, but let's take a closer look at how electricity should be produced at all, because solar electricity makes you think intuitively of such photovoltaic systems at
desertec, but the electricity should mainly come from solar thermal power plants, the principle of the power w recognize this super simple, so you have a row of mirrors and a gate and through the mirrors this sunlight is thrown onto the top of the tower and there with the concentrated beam of light water is then heated with this heated water the steam turbine is driven so relatively basic and then there is the electricity power plant that is already in spain near seville, for example, but there is also another form of solar heat, another example would be a semi-circular mirror that you may know is the parabolic trough and in the middle of it like this a water pipe or the pipe with other materials, for example, have a higher thermal capacity clamped and then the heat collects and the whole thing can then be converted into electricity, as with the tower, but why did you rely on solar heat and not on photovoltaics that dlr calculated in 2005 that electricity from solar thermal power plants would still be cheap for decades to come than that from photovoltaic systems the value for the late 2 thousand was eight cents per kilowatt hour for solar heat and 25 to 30 cents for pv that was at the time when the idea for
desertec was becoming more and more concrete and basically solar power plants also have a big one So the advantage is the energy, which can be stored in the form of heated water.
For example, in systems, the electricity must be consumed directly if no battery or other storage system is connected in between. Batteries were rather expensive back then and are still expensive today but in the meantime it has spread so quickly that the prices are high and that's why pv systems eventually became the cheaper alternative and that of course a problem with the huge project wants to produce as much electricity as possible and also something else law there were other problems such as political unrest in north africa, this one investment but of 400 billion euros that made it much more risky because you probably think twice mirror has now also said the chairman of the
desertec supervisory board that some energy companies did not want to have any competition with fossil energies and therefore opposed the project not much there now it's really hard to say, but the idea remains and the idea makes a lot of sense, i.e. to produce solar power in the sahara and then export it abroad, because of course you can produce significantly more energy with twice as much solar radiation as in germany and much cheaper electricity can then be produced with the same technology even we in germany still have potential for solar electricity, of course it makes economic sense to import electricity or other forms of energy if it’s cheaper and the expansion of wind energy is also subject to political constraints here due to limited space measures or actually stop this social rejection further and as I said the fraunhofer institute also assumes that we in germany will still have to import 10 to 30 percent of energy in the long term so actually the
desertec project is great but how it is now the current status of this text actually still exists today two initiatives have developed from the project under the name de der sold energy and a tec from dacian the plan itself is actually still the same except that now the supply of the region exports are no longer a direct priority, and yet the area should eventually become a powerhouse for the global energy market, i.e. first produce electricity for africa and then export it in the long term, but other companies and countries also have and have the potential for production the export of green electricity in desert areas recognized a example saudi arabia they have developed a planned city that is supposed to be 32 times as big as new york and a lot of solar power is to be produced there due to this desert location there is talk of them simply getting to 1.04 us cents per kilowatt hour that is world record for comparison in germany a kilowatt hour costs about 37 euro cents and that is about 40 times as expensive and we all know that the trend is likely to increase significantly again of course an export of electricity would also be exciting and that brings us to these special ones line because one problem is to transport the electricity over thousands of kilometers with as little loss as possible and there are two cables that connect morocco and spain and that is also the electricity bridge between the region and europe and these cables lie in the straits of gibraltar and that's why there are only about 30 kilometers under water so the place is actually perfect such a shorter distance across the sea that there is there is nowhere else ever cables so 700 megawatts can be transmitted 20 26 then a third cable should be added that sounds like that would be quite a lot but if you look at it then with these three cables we only have 2, However, 1 gigawatt
desertec has targeted an export of 100 gigawatts, which means we would need 142 of these cables for the same performance and that's just not super realistic as things stand now and of course also storage to cushion the fluctuations from these huge amounts of electricity and then the whole thing it makes sense to feed it into the grid so that's really something that's complicated and very important of course some energy is lost on the long way from the sahara to germany that then happens in the form of heat but also, for example, in substations and how much energy is lost exactly depends depends on many factors but i have a study by dr found sample calculations and there it turns out that when ten gigawatts are transmitted with such an 800 kilovolt high-voltage line, roughly the same as the lines that we have here, almost 15 percent of the energy is lost over 4000 kilometers in the evaluation of the study it is a reasonable extent, the exciting thing is now that both satek and the project in saudi arabia no longer focus so much on the export of electricity but are actually more focused on hydrogen Estimated how high the demand will be in 2050 that is not even known, but what is known is that in Germany not enough hydrogen can be produced to meet the needs of industry, the heating sector and also transport, that means first of all it sounds good hydrogen to import but at the point we come to the big arber germany he is expected for economic reasons we continue to import a lot of energy and since we are currently seeing that a dependency is only medium cool you can of course ask yourself do we now want to make the right first dependency on the hydrogen supply of countries like saudi arabia is that really called the smarter move example namibia as a democratic country with a lot of uninhabited area strong wind and too much sun would be a much better alternative from my point of view, no matter where the whole thing is done in the end so that the whole thing is realistic in the implementation and is not somehow sabotaged or simply doesn't take place or is simply taken away, i definitely think it makes sense that you do it with the people on site in cooperation that also means that they benefit from a better energy supply, for example, or there are new jobs and that was used in all of these projects For a long time, however, the federal government’s import plans for 2030 ignored a few more problems, namely logistical problems because there is simply still a lack of infrastructure according to the fraunhofer institute, ships or pipelines simply cannot be realized by 2030, which is why some researchers consider the focus on imports to be very critical and assume that this can lead to a supply gap again, which we already have in a very similar climate, which means that it should actually be the domestic hydrogen production has to be massively expanded and for that we need a lot of energy again, of course, as you can see, the topic is really quite complicated and because it’s not just about the production of energy in the sahara, it’s also about politics, economy, transport, social aspects and prob secretly much much more that I haven't listed now I hope that you liked this little update about
desertec because as I said it's probably really often asked about it I can do something about it if you liked it then give it in the video there above and feel free to write your opinion on the
desertec project, do you think so?