A team of Japanese scientists is currently leading a huge project, called “The Sahara Solar Breeder Project”, that can provide a solution to the world’s energy crisis and the reliance on finite energy resources.
The idea is to use the most abundant raw material on Earth, the silica (silicon and oxygen combined) – basically sand, found in deserts as an energy source. If the sand could be turned into a substance that provides energy would give a key solution to the crisis.
So the plan is to build silicon manufacturing plants and solar power plants throughout the desert, and use the generated energy to build more such plants in a “breeding” process.
Moreover, according to DigInfo TV, the solar energy that hits the Earth exceeds the global energy needs by some 10,000 times. The project will be the fruit of the cooperation of several countries across North Africa. The Japanese team also intends to train local African scientists and engineers to perform the required tasks.
“Rather than just bringing well-understood technology from developed countries to developing ones and teaching people how to use it, it’s important to do R&D together, right from the start, on technology that isn’t yet understood. Because technology hasn’t yet been established for making silicon from desert sand, then using it to make solar cells, our aim is to work together from the basic research stage, so we can discover and nurture talented scientists and engineers in Africa,” explains Hideomi Koinuma, guest professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
The grand goal of the Sahara Solar Breeder Project is to provide 50% of the energy used by humanity in 2050 as sunlight-derived electricity.