Desert greenhouses could harness the sea to grow bioufels

Greenhouses in desert areas near the sea could be used to grow a range of plants including Jatropha according to Guardian Unlimited. The answer lies in using the sun’s energy to evaporate sea water… 

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3 Responses to Desert greenhouses could harness the sea to grow bioufels

  1. Pradeep 4 September, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    Very interesting!
    One of the often quoted disadvantages of solar power is that is not available where the demand is. IMO, converting solar energy to chemical energy in the biofuel (ex: jatropha oil) might be one way to overcome this.

    The choice between electricity (CSP or PV) and biofuels as outputs from these desert-solar installations essentially comes down to the cost of laying out a electric grid vs. roads to transport the raw jatropha seeds/plants to the processing facility.

    A note of caution: Sahara desert is notorious for its dust plumes ( see http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=1298), I don’t know how they would affect the operation of this greenhouse + CSP system.

  2. Simon Robinson 4 September, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Why is it, I wonder, that natural resources for power (coal, gas, sunlight) are so far away from the places that need it? You’re right, about the infrastructure costs. These will make or break the project, and there’s no sign of any work on that in the original article.

  3. larry hagedon 5 September, 2008 at 1:02 am #

    In time we will see energy farms along our coasts that incorporate various combinations of wind, sun, tides, waves, and deep ocean currents, all working together to make fresh water from salt.

    We will eventualy pipe freshly desalinated water all over the nation in vast quantities. Global and national water shortages will become a non-issue.

    Using fridged deep ocean currents for cooling coastal cities is coming too.

    larry

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