The $550 billion solar project in North Africa: A reality check

Alex Salkever

Last week, a heavy hitting consortium of companies unveiled plans for a $550 billion solar farm to be built in the sunblasted North African desert. The plan called for the biggest ever deployment of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), a massive effort that could supply 15 percent of Europe's power.

CSP entails using mirrors to redirect the sun's rays to heat up water or oil with a concentrated heat beam. Ideally, this will also power large-scale desalination plants to green North Africa and stimulate agriculture. I spoke to Travis Bradford, a noted expert on solar energy and the executive director of the Prometheus Institute, about the project. Here's a quick-take Q&A: