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THE DESERTEC CONCEPT

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Title: THE DESERTEC CONCEPT


1
THE DESERTEC CONCEPT
Clean power from deserts
Probably the single most effective means of
cutting worldwide emissions of CO2
  • Dr Gerry Wolff
  • Coordinator of Desertec-UK

2
THE DESERTEC CONCEPT BACKGROUND
  • Developed by the 'TREC' international network
    of scientists and engineers, an initiative of the
    Club of Rome.
  • Now promoted by the Desertec Foundation and the
    Desertec Industrial Initiative.
  • Underpinned by detailed research at the German
    Aerospace Centre (DLR), the US DoE, and
    elsewhere.
  • Uses proven technologies that are available
    now.
  • The Desertec concept is taking shape now.

3
THE DESERTEC CONCEPT IN BRIEF
  • Colossal amounts of clean electricity may be
    generated in deserts using 'concentrating solar
    power' (CSP)-and wind power and photovoltaics
    (PV).
  • Efficient 'transfers' and transmission of solar
    electricity over long distances via low-loss
    HVDC transmission lines.
  • Spin-off benefits including desalination of sea
    water using waste heat from power generation.

4
DESERTEC IS HAPPENING NOW
  • CSP plants are already feeding electricity into
    the European transmission grid.
  • The Desertec Industrial Initiative is a
    consortium of blue-chip companies (including
    ABB, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, Munich Re, RWE, and
    Siemens) aiming to build CSP plants and develop
    the HVDC supergrid.
  • New CSP plants are under construction in Spain,
    Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, and other parts
    of the world.
  • More are planned by the Union for the
    Mediterranean ('Mediterranean Solar Plan') and
    the World Bank.
  • Several HVDC transmission lines are already in
    place. Imera and others plan to build more. The
    EC is providing funds for the supergrid.
  • About 9 to 14 GW of CSP capacity is in the
    pipeline worldwide (World Bank and EER estimates).

5
PS10 and PS20 power towers in Spain
6
Parabolic trough CSP plant, Kramer Junction,
California
7
Fresnel mirror systems
8
HOW CSP WORKS
9
Dish/engine systems in New Mexico
10
CPV systems, Australia
11
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12
GENERATING ELECTRICITY WITHOUT THE SUN
  • Solar heat may be stored in melted salts so
    that the generation of electricity may continue
    at night or on cloudy days.
  • Gas or biofuels may be used as a stop-gap
    source of heat when there is no sun.
  • With those two things, CSP plants can provide
    power on demandvery useful in matching
    supplies to constantly-varying demands.

13
HEAT STORAGE TANKS
14
TRANSMISSION START WITH THE EXISTING GRID
15
A TRANSMISSION GRID IS LIKE A LAKE
Water (electricity) may be 'transferred' over a
long distance without actual transmission.
Solar power fed into southern Europe can be an
immediate benefit for countries further north.
16
TRANSMISSION SUBMARINE SUPERGRID
  • Low-loss submarine HVDC supergrids proposed by
    MRP (A) and Airtricity (B).
  • Endorsed by EU Energy Commissioner, Günther
    Oettinger and former Energy Commissioner, Andris
    Piebalgs. The EC is providing support for the
    supergrid.
  • Some submarine HVDC cables are already in
    place.
  • Investment company Imera has announced a 4.4
    billion plan to develop "EuropaGrid North Sea"
    and "EuropaGrid Atlantic".

17
TRANSMISSION DESERTEC SCHEMATIC
18
BENEFITS OF AN HVDC SUPERGRID
  • Security of supply a shortfall in any one area
    can normally be met from elsewhere.
  • Reduces wastage surplus power in any one area
    may be moved to where it is needed.
  • Smoothes out variations the wind is always
    blowing somewhere across a large area like
    EUMENA.
  • Access to offshore wind farms, waves farms,
    etcand CSP!
  • Needed for a single market for electricity
    (promoting competition between suppliers).
  • Good for UK exports of renewable energy.

19
WORDWIDE POTENTIAL OF THE DESERTEC CONCEPT
  • With CSP, less than 1 of the world's deserts
    could produce as much electricity as the world is
    using now.
  • Less than 5 of the world's deserts could
    produce electricity equivalent to the world's
    total energy consumption.
  • Using low-loss HVDC transmission lines, it is
    feasible and economic to transmit electricity for
    3000 km or more.
  • 90 of the worlds people live within 2700 km
    of a desert.

20
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21
HUGE QUANTITIES OF CLEAN ENERGY IN DESERTS
World the area of desert needed to generate
(with CSP) as much electricity as the world is
using now. EU and MENA corresponding areas for
Europe and for the Middle East with North Africa.
22
ENERGY DENSITIES
23
DESERTEC SPIN-OFFS
  • Waste heat from the generation of solar
    electricity may be used for the desalination of
    sea water.
  • The shaded areas under solar collectors are
    protected against the harshness of direct
    tropical sunlight. They have many potential uses
    including horticulture using desalinated sea
    water.

24
WASTE HEAT FROM CSP MAY BE USED FOR DESALINATION
OF SEA WATER
25
CSP PROTECTION FROM THE SUN
Shaded areas under solar mirrors have many
potential uses including horticulture using
desalinated sea water. Land that would otherwise
be unproductive may be used for growing food.
26
CSP COOLING BY SHADING
Solar collectors provide shade Waste heat
may be used to drive air conditioners.
The system generates electricity
27
POWER FOR INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES
  • In principle, heat or electricity from CSP
    plants, or both, may be used to power industrial
    processes
  • Synthesis of hydrocarbons from CO2 and H2O.
  • Synthesis of hydrogen by electrolysis of water
    or direct thermal cracking of water.
  • Production and processing of steel, aluminium,
    etc. (Hydrogen as a reducing agent?)
  • Glass making.
  • Etc.

28
FURTHER INFORMATION
www.desertec.org
  • www.desertec-uk.org.uk

29
CSP COSTS (1)
30
CSP COSTS (2)
  • German Aerospace Centre (DLR) CSP is likely to
    become one of the cheapest sources of electricity
    in Europe, including the cost of transmission.
  • Vinod Khosla "... we are poised for breakaway
    growthfor explosive growthnot because we are
    cleaner than "clean" coal-fired electricity but
    because we are cheaper. We happen to be cleaner
    incidentally."
  • CSP costs are falling while the cost of
    traditional sources of energy are rising.

31
HOLDING DOWN COSTS
32
SUPERGRID COSTS
  • The estimated cost of a EUMENA-wide Supergrid
  • 45bn for 100 GW (20 x 5 GW).
  • 5bn for 10 GW (2 x 5 GW) between North Africa
    and the UK.
  • Divided amongst 30 countries and spread over
    10 years, average annual cost per country would
    be 150 million or less.
  • For comparison
  • 132.5bn (90bn) is Gordon Brown's estimate of
    the cost of cleaning up the UK's nuclear legacy.
  • 7.5bn (5.1bn) is the estimated cost of adding
    a new lane to the M1 motorway.
  • 166bn (US235bn) is the annual subsidy
    worldwide to fossil fuel industries (New
    Economics Foundation, 2004).

33
WORLDWIDE POTENTIAL OF RENEWABLES
  • Renewable energy technologies can provide 100
    percent of the worlds energy (not just
    electricity) and it is technically feasible to
    make the transition by 2030. See A path to
    sustainable energy by 2030 by Mark Z. Jacobson
    and Mark A. Delucchi in the November 2009 issue
    of Scientific American.
  • Using renewables, total world demand for power
    in 2030 would be 11.5 terawatts compared with
    16.9 terawatts with conventional sources of
    energy.
  • In the JD scenario, wind supplies 51 percent of
    the demand worldwide, provided by 3.8 million
    large wind turbines. For comparison, the world
    manufactures 73 million cars and light trucks
    every year.

34
WIND POWER 1
  • A network of land-based 2.5-megawatt (MW)
    turbines restricted to nonforested, ice-free,
    nonurban areas operating at as little as 20 of
    their rated capacity could supply more than 40
    times current worldwide consumption of
    electricity and more than 5 times total global
    use of energy in all forms. There is additional
    potential in offshore wind farms. See Global
    potential for wind-generated electricity, Xi
    Lua, Michael B. McElroya, and Juha Kiviluomac,
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    of the United States of America, June 22, 2009.

35
WIND POWER 2
  • The "economically competitive potential" of wind
    power in Europe is 3 times projected demand for
    electricity in 2020 and 7 times projected demand
    in 2030. Offshore wind power alone could meet
    between 60 and 70 of projected demand for
    electricity in 2020 and about 80 of projected
    demand in 2030. See Europe's onshore and
    offshore wind energy potential, European
    Environment Agency, 2009.

36
MATCHING VARIABLE DEMANDS WITH VARIABLE SUPPLIES
  • The variability of sources such as wind power
    is much less of an issue than is sometimes
    suggested. See Managing Variability by
    independent consultant David Milborrow, July
    2009. 
  • Electricity transmission networks in the UK are
    already designed to cope with unscheduled outages
    of power stations and variations in consumer
    demand.
  • For a small additional cost, wind power could
    provide up to 40 of the UK's electricityand
    more is possible.
  • There is a range of techniques for matching
    variable demands with variable supplies.

37
SECURITY OF ENERGY SUPPLIES
  • The TRANS-CSP scenario provides greater
    security of electricity supplies than current
    systems
  • Less imported energy. CSP imports would be the
    exception (lt 15 of European electricity
    supplies).
  • Greater diversity of sources of electricity.
    CSP adds to that diversity.
  • Plentiful supplies of clean electricity means
    greater energy security for everyone.
  • Supergrid allows shortfalls in any area to be
    met from elsewhere.
  • CSP plants are hard to disrupt and easy to
    repair.
  • The transmission grid can be designed (like the
    internet) to be resilient in the face of damage
    or attack.
  • There would be a buyers' market for solar
    electricity. It would be difficult to create a
    solar cartel and any such cartel would probably
    be self-defeating.

38
ENDORSEMENTS (1)
  • At the inaugural meeting of the Union for the
    Mediterranean in July 2008, Prime Minister Gordon
    Brown said
  • ... in the Mediterranean region, concentrated
    solar power offers the prospect of an abundant
    low carbon energy source. Indeed, just as
    Britain's North Sea could be the Gulf of the
    future for offshore wind, so those sunnier
    countries represented here could become a vital
    source of future global energy by harnessing the
    power of the sun. So I am delighted that the EU
    is committing at this summit to work with its
    neighboursincluding Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and
    the League of Arab Statesto explore the
    development of a new 'Mediterranean Solar Plan'
    for the development and deployment of this vital
    technology from the Sahara northwards.

39
ENDORSEMENTS (2)
  • 173 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 123 in
    support of the DESERTEC concept (rank 39 out of
    2109 EDMs).
  • The German government has formally endorsed the
    DESERTEC concept.
  • The Dutch House of Representatives has voted
    134 to 16 in favour of the DESERTEC concept.
  • H.E Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the President of
    the Republic of Tunisia, has endorsed the
    concept.
  • Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan is a strong
    supporter of the concept.
  • In the EUMENA region, CSP plants are being
    built in Spain, Italy, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt,
    and Israel.
  • Other endorsements Al Gore, Google Inc, Vinod
    Khosla, Hans-Gert Pöttering, The Climate Group,
    Forum for the Future,

40
WHAT GOVERNMENTS CAN DO
  • Remove overt and hidden subsidies for
    established sources of power.
  • Ensure that a proper price is paid for the
    environmental cost of CO2 emissions.
  • Create an appropriate international system of
    incentives.
  • Create a single market for electricity
    throughout Europe (good) or EUMENA (better).
  • Upgrade existing transmission grids and develop
    a EUMENA-wide HVDC supergrid.

41
THE DLR REPORTS (2005-2007)
  • The MED-CSP, TRANS-CSP and AQUA-CSP
    reports produced by the German Aerospace Center
    (DLR).
  • They are the foundation of the Desertec
    concept.
  • Show in detail, country by country, how Europe,
    the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) can
  • meet all needs for electricity.
  • make deep cuts in CO2 emissions.
  • phase out nuclear power at the same time.
  • Concentrating solar power (CSP) as one of
    several renewable sources of energy throughout
    EUMENA.

42
MINIMISING THE USE OF FRESH WATER
  • Steam generation
  • Water is recycled. Avoid leaks.
  • Use dish/engine systems or CPV.
  • Cooling
  • Use dry cooling (best with power towers). Small
    loss of efficiency.
  • Use dish/engine systems or CPV.
  • Use sea water for cooling.
  • Cleaning mirrors
  • Brushes.
  • Damp cloths or sponges.
  • Self-cleaning glass.

43
SOME MOTIVATIONS
  • UK businesses and householders will welcome the
    opportunity to buy inexpensive clean power from
    deserts.
  • DESERTEC is a bold plan that is likely to be
    popular with voters.
  • CSP costs are falling while the costs of fossil
    fuels and nuclear power are rising.
  • Global security plentiful cheap power
    increases energy security for everyone.
  • The technologies are all proven and available
    now.
  • CSP plants are quick to build.
  • Many opportunities for UK plc.
  • DESERTEC can help meet targets for renewable
    energy and cuts in CO2 emissions.

44
DESERTEC BENEFITS
  • Plentiful, inexhaustible, inexpensive and
    carbon-free power for EUMENAand corresponding
    cuts in CO2 emissions (mitigation).
  • Alleviation of climate-change-induced shortages
    of water, food and usable land (adaptation).
  • Jobs and earnings in large new industries
    throughout EUMENA. Large commercial opportunities
    for UK plc.
  • Global security
  • By alleviating shortages of energy, water, food
    and usable land, CSP can reduce the risk of
    conflict over those resources. (cf Margaret
    Becketts speeches).
  • A win-win solar collaboration amongst countries
    of EUMENA can help to improve relations amongst
    different groups of people. (cf Nicolas Sarkozys
    call for a new trans-Mediterranean partnership).

45
BENEFITS FOR THE UK
  • With or without electricity imports into the
    UK
  • Cutting worldwide emissions of CO2 (we are all
    at risk).
  • Plentiful supplies of clean energy means, and
    increased diversity of supplies, means increased
    energy security for everyone.
  • Holding down the price of electricity
    throughout EUMENA.
  • Raising living standards in developing
    countries and reducing tensions from poverty and
    immigration.
  • Business opportunities and jobs for "UK plc".
  • Imports of electricity into the UK
  • Physical and/or virtual imports of clean
    electricity.
  • Kyoto credits and/or EU renewable energy
    credits.

46
SUGGESTED NEXT STEPS FOR THE UK GOVERNMENT
  • Recognise the importance of the DESERTEC
    concept in cutting worldwide emissions of CO2.
  • Incorporate the DESERTEC concept in the UK's
    strategy for renewable energy.
  • Establish a DESERTEC team within DECC to
    promote DESERTEC developments.
  • Work with the UKs international partners to
    make the necessary reforms in laws and
    regulations.

47
Parabolic trough CSP plant, Kramer
Junction, California
48
A dish-engine system
49
Solar Two power tower, Barstow, California
50
Parabolic trough collector, Albuquerque
51
Sunset over solar collectors
52
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53
DESERTEC AND STEEL
  • Solar electricity may serve as a clean source
    of power for steel making.
  • Solar heat may, in principle, be used for steel
    making R D required.
  • CSP-generated hydrogen may be used as a
    reducing agent in steel making R D required
  • CSP plants and HVDC transmission lines will
    need lots of steel.
  • DESERTEC projects may qualify for CDM or other
    credits.

54
REDUCING UK DEMANDS FROM ENERGY-INTENSIVE
APPLICATIONS, eg computer data centres
55
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57
HVDC SUPERGRID FEATURES
  • HVDC grids are highly-efficient losses are
    only about 3 per 1000 km.
  • Electricity may be transmitted between North
    Africa and London with less than 10 loss of
    power.
  • It is feasible and economic to transmit solar
    electricity for 3000 km or more.
  • 90 of the worlds population lives within 2700
    km of a desert.
  • HVDC grids do not replace existing HVAC grids,
    they complement them.

58
ASSESSING CSP COSTS AND BENEFITS
  • Potential benefits include desalination of sea
    water and CSP horticulture.
  • Fossil fuels are still heavily subsidised in
    many countries this has to stop.
  • Fossil fuels are still not paying a proper
    price for CO2 emissions this has to stop.
  • Costs widely quoted for nuclear power are far
    too low and do not take account of several hidden
    subsidies.
  • Feed-in tariffs or other kinds of support for
    renewable forms of energy are already available
    in many countries.
  • Most CSP plants are hybrids the fossil part
    is cheap to build but expensive to run the solar
    part is more expensive to build but cheaper to
    run.

59
TRANS-CSP SCENARIO
60
SARGENT LUNDY 2003
61
SARGENT LUNDY 2005
62
JOBS AND EARNINGS
  • Design and manufacture of CSP plants
  • Boilers, steam turbines, generators etc (same
    as ordinary power station).
  • Solar collectors and heat stores.
  • Building CSP plants using manufactured
    components (in the sun belt).
  • Management and maintenance of CSP plants (in
    the sun belt).
  • Design and manufacture of HVDC transmission
    lines and associated equipment.
  • Installation and maintenance of HVDC
    transmission lines (throughout EUMENA).

63
GLOBAL SECURITY
  • By alleviating shortages of energy, water, food
    and usable land, CSP can reduce the risk of
    conflict over those resources.
  • A win-win solar collaboration amongst countries
    of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa can
    help to improve relations amongst different
    groups of people.

64
SECURITY OF TRANSMISSION
  • HVDC Supergrid
  • Improves security a shortfall in any one area
    can normally be met from one or more other areas.
  • Can be designed to accommodate damage (like the
    internet).
  • Airtricity propose laying HVDC cables under the
    sea.

65
EACH YEARS DELAY MEANS STEEPER CUTS IN CO2
EMISSIONS
200
S curve from 2012
180
9 p.a. reduction
160
140
120
Carbon emissions (MtC)
100
Cumulative CO2 emissions
80
60
40
20
0
2000
2010
2020
2030
2040
2050
Year
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69
DESERT POWER FOR THE UK?
70
TOO FAR?
  • With low-loss HVDC transmission lines, it is
    feasible and economic to transmit electricity up
    to 3000 km or more.
  • There may be less than 10 loss of power over
    the 2000 km between North Africa and the UK.
  • Electricity may be "transferred" over long
    distances without actual transmission (see next).

71
TOO LONG TO WAIT?
  • The UK can begin to benefit soon from CSP via
    long-distance "transfers" of electricity via the
    existing grid. We don't have to wait for the
    supergrid to be completed.
  • CSP plants are relatively quick to build.
  • As quantities increase, the grid may be
    upgraded by removing bottlenecks, by converting
    HVAC lines to HVDC, and by adding new HVDC lines
    and smart electronics.
  • A large market for CSP will give confidence to
    investors, helping rapid expansion of the
    industry.

72
TOO INSECURE?
  • The TRANS-CSP scenario provides greater
    security of electricity supplies than current
    systems
  • Less imported energy. CSP imports would be the
    exception (lt 15 of European electricity
    supplies).
  • Greater diversity of sources of electricity.
    CSP adds to that diversity.
  • Supergrid allows shortfalls in any area to be
    met from elsewhere.
  • Many countries have sunny deserts.
  • CSP plants are hard to disrupt and easy to
    repair.
  • The transmission grid can be designed (like the
    internet) to be resilient in the face of damage
    or attack.
  • Plentiful supplies of clean electricity means
    greater security for everyone.

73
TOO COSTLY?
  • Estimated cost of 100 GW supergrid is 45
    billion (TRANS-CSP report).
  • Shared amongst 30 countries and spread over 10
    years, this would be, on average, 150 million
    (or less) for each country, each year.
  • CSP is likely to be one of the cheapest sources
    of electricity in Europe, including the cost of
    transmission (TRANS-CSP report).
  • Studies show that supergrids are good value for
    money.

74
OPPORTUNITIES FOR "UK PLC"
  • There are now over 40 CSP companies worldwide,
    including several with a UK base
  • Arxiel Ventures
  • HelioDynamics
  • Microsharp Corporation Limited
  • Naanovo Energy
  • Schott Solar Thermal
  • Silicon CPV
  • Whitfield Solar
  • Transmission companies
  • ABB UK
  • Nexans
  • Siemens UK
  • Other Steel, electronics, project management,
    finance, etc etc.

75
Study Project TRANS-CSP Trans-Mediterranean
Interconnection for Concentrating Solar Power
(Introduction Summary) Project for the
Research Development Programme of the German
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature
Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
76
50 Countries analysed within the MED-CSP and
TRANS-CSP Studies
77
Gross Electricity Demand in the Analysed Countries
78
TRANS-CSP Electricity Generation in Europe
79
Security and Redundancy of Power Supply in a
Future TRANS-Mediterranean HVDC Grid
80
TRANS-CSP CO2 Emissions in Europe
RUE Rational Use of Energy RES Renewable
Energy Systems CCS Carbon Capture
Sequestration Avoided CO2 is calculated with
respect to a mix as in the year 2000 including
nuclear power
81
Land Lost or Gained ?Concentrating Solar Thermal
Power Plants combined with Sea Water Desalination
in Coastal Desert Areas
Energy Water Income Sustainable economic
development in arid regions
AC Grid
HVDC Link
(artist view created with Google Earth)
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TRANS-CSP Investment for Least Cost Electricity
Example Spain
TRANS-CSP Mix Energy Mix as described here incl.
RUE, RES and CCS Mix 2000 Maintaining exactly
the Power Mix like in the Year 2000 with CCS
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