What If the Sahara Desert Was Covered With Solar Panels?

[Music] 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 every day hmm could we cover an entire desert in solar panels would that be enough to power the entire world this is what if and here's what would happen if we covered the Sahara Desert with solar panels if we cover just 1.2 percent of the Sahara Desert and solar panels we can harness enough power to meet the energy needs of the entire world how would we overcome the geopolitical and financial obstacles involved and how could this project thoroughly change the deserts climate usually a solar farm is built to prevent changes in the environment but if we built one in the Sahara it might cause some changes of its own if we line the desert floor with giant solar panels it would double the rainfall in the region an increased vegetation cover by about 20 percent sound a little unbelievable well let me explain Sahara sand is unusually light in color which means it tends to reflect a lot of light and heat back up into the air if we covered the sand in dark solar panels it would mean that more Sun would be absorbed and the ground temperature would increase warmer air rises to areas in the atmosphere where it's cooler and moisture there condenses and falls as rain before you knew it one of the most extreme climates on earth would undergo a significant makeover so if the solar panels would not only provide sustainable energy solutions but also add much-needed greenery to our largest desert then what are we waiting for shouldn't we be out there building these things already well it's a little more complicated than that one thing it's great to produce enough energy to power the world but then you have to worry about how you're gonna get it to everyone the most likely place this energy would travel to first is to Europe exporting sustainable energy would do great things for a lot of African economies but would they have the means to do it currently electrical grids in Africa aren't very reliable and they need power lines of around eight hundred to three thousand kilometres to get where they needed to go transporting power over long distances leads to power loss of up to ten percent which means that an already expensive project would get even more pricey and where would all the money come from Africa is home to quite a few unstable governments the kind that raised some pretty big red flags with investors of multi-billion dollar projects like this one on top of that this would be a long-term project so there'd be a lot of moving parts several countries would have to be involved and any one of them might see a changing political landscape over the years that could disrupt or put an end to the whole thing as great as this project would be it would probably be better to attempt it on a small scale first maybe solar panels could be used to power some small African villages and help to spread access to electricity but that's a topic for another what-if

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