Solar supergrid 'could power Europe'

Solar energy generated in the Sahara Desert could provide enough energy to power the whole of Europe, it has been posited.

Arnulf Jaeger-Walden of the European commission's Institute for Energy has spoken of the possibility of harnessing the power of the desert sun at the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona, the Guardian reports.

Mr Jaeger-Walden claimed that Europe's energy requirements could be met by capturing just 0.3 per cent of the light in the Sahara since it is more intense than in Europe, with a capacity to produce three times the amount of electricity.

Scientists at the institute are calling for a series of solar farms to be set up with a view to creating a supergrid that would connect European countries to the renewable resource.

"Assuming it's cost-effective, a large-scale renewable energy grid is just the kind of innovation we need if we're going to beat climate change," said Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr.

A feasibility study has recently been launched to look into the possibility of an interconnected grid that would supply wind and wave energy to Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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