Published in Chemistry World, 1 Sep 2011
Limestone batteries could be the key to transporting energy across huge distances, according to chemists in Germany. The idea, which would be used to take solar energy harnessed in the African desert to cities in Europe, might be more efficient than power lines, and could even sequester carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuel plants.
Researchers exploring greener ways to generate electricity have often looked to the deserts, where enough sunlight falls in six hours to power the world for an entire year. DESERTEC, developed by European scientists, economists and politicians, offers one way to tap this resource. In this concept, power plants would be located in northern Africa that concentrate the sun’s rays onto oil, which would boil water into steam to drive turbines. The electricity generated by these turbines would then be transported thousands of kilometres to cities in Europe via high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) power lines. […]
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