Thursday, September 11, 2008
The year is 2055 and Musa has just sealed a transaction with a Wholesale fruit dealer in Lagos. Musa and his family future farmers and residents of a series new Sustainable Sahara Oasis towns aka Sahara Forest Projects that have sprung up in Agadez province in country Niger, West Africa. These towns are equipped with the technology and infrastructure that processes the abundant solar energy that these areas of the desert are exposed to. It is then converted with the help of Concentrated Solar Power or CSP technology to large amounts of electrical energy and the excess heat that is used to distill seawater.
The byproducts of this CSP are distilled and de-salinated water that is used to grow fruits,vegetables. This also adds to the revenue already generated by supplying drinking water and electric power to cites as far away as West Africa coast and Europe.
I an article that is featured in Inhabitat about Sustainable Sahara Forest projects it says "...Recently a trio of entrepreneurs announced an incredible solution for the worlds resource problems: turn the Sahara desert into a source for food, water, and energy. The Sahara Forest Project (.PDF) is a solution that combines seemingly disparate technologies - Concentrated solar power and Seawater Greenhouses - and turns them into a mean, green super-massive biomachine. The elegant system could potentially produce enough energy for all of Africa and Europe while turning one of the worlds most inhospitable regions into a flourishing oasis.
The Sahara Forest Project is the brainchild of Charlie Paton, Michael Pawlyn and Bill Watts. The project aims to provide a source of renewable energy, food and water to desert regions around the world by taking a number of proven technologies and merging them into a system that works holistically to do its work. It's an exciting synergy, as both Seawater greenhouses and concentrated solar power technologies are perfectly suited to work in hot, dry climates.
A Seawater Greenhouse converts sea water into fresh water using nothing more than the suns rays. It does this by running air through a structure whose walls are infused with cold sea water. As air enters it is immediately cooled, humidified, and then condensed into fresh water by sunlight..."