$550 billion solar farm in the Sahara

Last week came word that a number of German industrial and financial giants, including Siemens (SI) and Deutsche Bank (DB), are planning a massive solar farm to be built in the North African desert. The farm would supply roughly 15 percent of Europe's power requirements. Power would flow through cables under the Mediterranean and into the European grid.

The kicker on all this? The farm would rely on a technology called Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) that involves using mirrors to collect and redirect the heat of the sun into a small beam that heats up a container of liquid (oil or water). Does this $550 billion plan signify a turning point with the world moving away from standard photovoltaic arrays that use silicon to produce energy and towards CSP?


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