Originally Posted by PAFAce
Ur comparing chalk & cheese, China's CO2 emissions are 5 times that of India. To expect India to cut emissions as much as China would be absurd.
If you watch the video, you'll realize that all it discusses is whether it is possible to produce energy from the sun or not. It doesn't look at it from an engineering or an economic point of view, only through the point of view of Physics. Of course it can be done, just like man could go to Pluto if we wanted to today, but the question is do we need or want to.
This project doesn't discuss practicality or alternatives. The area he highlighted on the map may look small, but it is in fact vast. The estimated capital required to just build this thing is estimated to be 400 Billion (Dollars or Euros, I forget which). The Andasol Power Plant in Spain produces just 11 Megawatts, by comparison, the nuclear plant I worked on, ACR-1000, produces 1000 Megawatt Electric, and it also doesn't require to be put in some massive desert with huge transmission infrastructure, it fits into the current ones. And of course, like I said, solar power is irregular and is very maintenance intensive. Geothermal is a far more practical solution than solar, in my opinion.
So, I ask you, which would you rather spend your money on?
Desertec isnt a physics project, its a real plan. They mention 15% of EU demand initially since they have a practical approach on the project, not the theoretical square on the map that shows the area covered by the plant for EU/World demand.
The precise reason they choose deserts is because of the consistency of sunlight. Infact, most regions in India receive 300+ days of sunshine a year, one of the reasons i said it is a 'promising' source in my post, not the ultimate one.
The challenges you mentioned are there, and they are significant. Its my belief that they can be overcome to a good extent. Two important aspects : solar panel cost & power storage. There is significant research on these and i am hopeful on the significance of solar/wind power in the future. Look at the abundance of sunshine in most countries; the main component of solar panels i.e. silicon is plentiful around the earth.
Nuclear is king for the near future, no doubt about that. My point is, attaining a percentage of your energy by renewable means and working consistently on improving them is not a bad idea.
Geothermal : bloody awesome, if ur Iceland. I am not aware of its availability across the most populated or developed (hence pollutive) countries though.