|Saudi Arabia||125 000||2 000|
(70 000 GW)
could be produced in countries in Europe and North Africa. The “eco-
nomic potential” adds up to more than enough to supply 125 kWh per
day to 1 billion people. The total “coastal potential” is enough to supply
16 kWh per day per person to 1 billion people.
Let’s try to convey on a map what a realistic plan could look like.
Imagine making solar facilities each having an area of 1500 km2 – that’s
roughly the size of London. (Greater London has an area of 1580 km2; the
M25 orbital motorway around London encloses an area of 2300 km2.) Let’s
call each facility a blob. Imagine that in each of these blobs, half the area is
devoted to concentrating power stations with an average power density of
15 W/m2, leaving space around for agriculture, buildings, railways, roads,
pipelines, and cables. Allowing for 10% transmission loss between the
blob and the consumer, each of these blobs generates an average power
of 10 GW. Figure 25.8 shows some blobs to scale on a map. To give a
sense of the scale of these blobs I’ve dropped a few in Britain too. Four of
these blobs would have an output roughly equal to Britain’s total electricity
consumption (16 kWh/d per person for 60 million people). Sixty-five blobs
would provide all one billion people in Europe and North Africa with
16 kWh/d per person. Figure 25.8 shows 68 blobs in the desert.