Is the American multi-billionaire Elon Musk looking at the Algerian Grand Sahara?

Elon Musk. DR

By Nabil D. – Elon Musk highlighted in a tweet Algeria’s strategic position and the global impact that exploiting its solar potential could have. The American billionaire responded to a message sent by an expert in the field who updated the thesis of a German researcher from the Faculty of Physics and Geology of the Technical University of Braunschweig. “The total area of ​​solar panels it would take to power the world, Europe and Germany. This map comes from Nadine May’s thesis”, the expert wrote, picking up a geographical map where the Algerian Grand Sahara appears.

“Such an obvious decision”, responded the American tycoon, who has just bought the giant of the Web Twitter, thereby suggesting that he could even invest himself in such a mega-project in the context of the severe energy crisis that is hitting Europe with full force since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.

In her thesis published in 2005 and entitled “Ecobalance of solar energy, transmission from North Africa to Europe”, Nadine May evoked the total yield of the solar heating potential of North Africa, with the vast southern Algeria occupying most of this region. “An area of ​​3.49 million km2 is available for potential locations of solar thermal plants and power plants in the countries of North Africa”, writes the German academic, who “if a yield of electricity solar energy of 250 GWh/km2 is taken as a basis for this area, it would result in a yield of 872,500 TWhel/year”.

“The real energy demand in the world is 16,076 TWh/year and could theoretically be met much better. In other words, an area of ​​254 km x 254 km would be sufficient to meet the world’s total demand for electricity,” she further explains, adding that “the amount of electricity needed by the European Union The European Union, which has 25 states [en 2005, ndlr], could be produced over an area of ​​110 km x 110 km”. “For Germany, with a demand of 500 TWh/year, an area of ​​45 km x 45 km is needed, which corresponds to 0.03% of all suitable areas in North Africa”, states the researcher.

“These considerations only emphasize the great potential of this energy,” she continues in a chapter devoted to this issue, as if she had foreseen the crisis that would hit European countries hard almost twenty years later. “This shouldn’t feel like the only option for expanding renewable energy. Rather, it’s about using all the renewable energies that can be found in a country and combining them in a balanced way,” she says.

All eyes are therefore on Algeria, the largest country in Africa, and its sunshine, which is already an alternative to fossil fuels. Already beginning to glimpse the post-oil era, Algeria is seeking alternatives to this underground wealth, which remains its most important economic resource. Efforts aimed at increasing exports of non-hydrocarbons are accompanied by the progressive use of renewable and inexhaustible energies, which will place the Algeria of tomorrow among the leading energy powers in the world.

If the astute Elon Musk has sniffed out the oar, it is because the country has every interest in seriously following this track.


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