Morocco’s Move to be the Saudis of Solar

November 20, 2018

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17 Responses to “Morocco’s Move to be the Saudis of Solar”

  1. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    Don’t we just love the big mega projects. Add the cost of Noor 1,2 &3 and compare rooftop solar on their 7 1/2 million residences for something like the same price. No transmission infrastructure required and so much water available for other uses.

    A real beauty of renewable is that we can use much more on site generation, big is not better.

    In a troubled world, massive projects are vulnerable. Vulnerable to natural and unnatural disasters.

    • grindupbaker Says:

      Depends on the time span because the geezer who’s a snazzy dresser half way through says the intent is to sell energy to Europe but the nice lady earlier says it’ll power half of Morocco in 22 years so presumably they reach export level in 44 years unless the King’s plan is that most Moroccans will be dead from no food or whatever by then so he’ll sell the whole lot to Europe in a decade or so. If they’re exporting then roof tops aren’t any better. Greenman seems to have bought into the King’s export vision.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      Your contention is that rooftop and commercial scale PV are comparable on price? Even in Morocco? Good luck with that.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        Oops. I should have looked at the video first! It’s not PV they are using, it’s non tower solar thermal. My bad. Pre-coffee comment. 😦

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          That said – Desertec simply makes sense. You have a perfect place to site large-scale solar in the Sahara with perfect insolation characteristics. With HVDC transmission lines, you could power all of Europe with minimal transmission losses.

          I don’t know the specifics of this particular project, but it seems to me that is you have a fluid being heated to 750 degrees, you could get output when the sun goes down as well.

          To me the question is not how this compares to wind, but how it compares to PV + battery storage, whose latest bid was $36 per MWh. Which is very cheap.

          Yes, you have to build more transmission lines. But they last a long long time. As do PV panels, and, presumably, these CSP set ups. So, this is a complicated economic scenario in a time when the economics of solar RE are improving rapidly. Not simple.

          • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

            Compared to KISS PV solar, a system to heat fluid to drive a steam turbine seems like it has a lot of expensive “moving parts”, requires more safety features, and depends on both water and the heated oil.

            One application of concentrated solar that does seem effective is in desalinization of water. The central pipes, of course, would have to deal with flowing salt water rather than oil, so that’s one greater expense.

  2. grindupbaker Says:

    Wonderfully trim, lean video uncluttered by lots of boring information like what I get for my $9,000,000,000 but now I know about Game Of Thrones, Orrence of Arabia and Casablanca. I’ll search the interwebby to see whether anybody will tell me how many megawatts I just bought for my $9,000,000,000 but it might be like buying a cell phone plan. Here’s looking at you kid.

    • grindupbaker Says:

      Found it in print. 580 so it’s $15,500,000 per megawatt.

      Most of the commercial-scale wind turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed. Industry estimates project an annual output of 30-40%, but real-world experience shows that annual outputs of 15-30% of capacity are more typical. OK so using 23% capacity for wind turbines I got $7,610,000 per megawatt.

      So the Moroccan solar costs them 2.03x as much as Europeans would pay for wind turbines installed around Europe with enough spread to mix and match and always have the 23% actual output of the total of the name plate capacities.

      So, perhaps wind turbines have a shorter life than mirrors to amortize over, though that’s not certain with mirrors that swivel under power continuously. Life time and maintenance cost would need comparing.

      Also European liberals beset with a plethora of White Men’s problems might pay a premium not to have ugly spinny turbines everywhere while they drink the morning cafe with croissant.

      • leslie graham Says:

        Most Europeans like the look of wind turbines. They also don’t want to die young from the effects of global warming. This latter point should be in any equation regarding renewable energy.
        Maybe it’s not windy in that part of the Sahara.
        And we get it. You hate ‘liberals’. As a ‘liberal’ I can tell you we don’t give a **** what you think.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        Also European liberals beset with a plethora of White Men’s problems might pay a premium not to have ugly spinny turbines everywhere while they drink the morning cafe with croissant.

        FWIW, the first time I ever saw wind turbines was in the French countryside in 2000.

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    ROTFLMAO! Morocco wants to be “the Saudi of Solar”? A laughable “Mouse That Roared” scenario. That won’t happen unless Morocco becomes allied with The Grand Duchy of Fenwick.

    As usual, GB displays his cognitive bias towards RE by saying “Desertec makes perfect sense”. (That’s a Trumpian “perfect”). And GrindupB, as usual, grinds some numbers for us and shows how senseless that is while rabidD makes good points as well. As if common sense wasn’t enough to tell you that routing transmission lines all the way around the Mediterranean wasn’t a dumb idea.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      We route transmission lines all across the U.S. right now. Seems to work. They have transmission lines all around the Mediterranean right now – I am pretty sure they have electricity in Europe carried in wires, and supposedly, with Martian technology, they can actually attach new wires to the existing wires.

      They also have these things called submarine power cables. They are not for powering electric submarines, they are for efficiently moving huge amounts of power around.

      http://www.youris.com/energy/gallery/undersea-hvdc-cables-discovering-some-of-the-worlds-top-power-interconnections.kl

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Take a look at a map, GB! The distance from Morocco to Spain by land is over TWICE the distance from NYC to L.A. Lots of wire. And lots of unfriendly places to cross.

        As for submarine power cables, there are not as many of them as you’d think—most underwater “cables” are for communication. Some big plans ARE afoot, though, but the question is again time–will they get done in time to help us avoid SHTF time? And there are already seabed power cables from Morocco to Spain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_power_cable

        Of course, if we can pry Musk away from smoking weed, maybe we can get the Boring Company to drill a tunnel beneath the Straits of Gibraltar so we can run lots of wires through it—-shouldn’t take more than 15 years.

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          You realize you just contradicted yourself about submarine cables from Morocco to Spain, right?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Wrong—no “contradiction” at all. I was pointing that out because you seem to think it makes more sense for Desertec to string 5500+ miles of land transmission lines.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      Desertec does make sense. The idea is to site solar where insolation is ideal (the Sahara), where land is open, flat, cheap and unused (the Sahara).

      It makes sense because you get the biggest bang for the buck. I know that is a difficult concept for nuclear power proponents to get a handle on, but a lot of us think we have an opportunity to stop paying through the nose for power sources that harvest free energy.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Delusional nonsense. The idea is to site solar where it best meets a combination of factors, and Desertec does not give the biggest bang for the buck (unless you’re a bright-sided wishful thinker).

        And nuclear power has nothing to do with it (unless of course, your inability to understand its pluses fuels your delusions about Morocco becoming the next Saudi (still ROTFLMAO over that one—-Long Live Duchess Gloriana and The Duchy of Grand Fenwick)


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