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Large Scale Solar Plant in Gobi Desert

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Interesting figures - thanks. As a comparison Drax (the UK's largest man-made CO2 source) power station produces about 10 times more for about 10 times less area - so about a factor of 100 or so (maybe up to 1000) if you consider watts/meter; BUT, and it is a very big but, the Chinese station doesn't need the coal/biomass, and produces very little pollution after the sunk costs of production.

 

So (uber-simplistically) - scale up the area of the power plant by about 100 and get your energy for free.

 

OK - we don't get a lot of sunshine in North Yorkshire so maybe not feasible there; BUT, and again it is a big one, we import the coal and biomass from South America, South Africa, and the USA. Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to evolve our system to energy imports rather than energy bearing matter imports

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I suspect that despite the article's title calling this "large scale", the Chinese consider this 200 MW plant a 'pilot/demo' plant. If proven to be economically and technically feasible, their idea of "large scale" may just be a little larger than we realize.

 

Interesting figures - thanks. As a comparison Drax (the UK's largest man-made CO2 source) power station produces about 10 times more for about 10 times less area - so about a factor of 100 or so (maybe up to 1000) if you consider watts/meter; BUT, and it is a very big but, the Chinese station doesn't need the coal/biomass, and produces very little pollution after the sunk costs of production.

 

I would suggest you look at this regarding the price (which is closely related to the usefulness) of the land you're using. If you place this in the Gobi desert, which is largely uninhabited, and non-arable, nobody really cares if you use lots of land there because it has no (or very few) other uses.

The Drax powerplant is located smack in the middle of a densely populated and cultivated land. It's actually using up land that could easily be used for many other purposes.

 

The main issue of the location is that you must transport that electricity to somewhere else, which comes with its own investment and energy losses. I wonder how robust and efficient the Chinese electricity network is. It's mostly quite new, but it is a topic that I don't see a lot of news about.

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The area taken up isn't the only consideration. I suspect that the value of the land for the solar power plant is rather less than that for Drax.

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Building a solar power plant in the Gobi desert is a nice development. I'm optimistic about the project and I believe its going to be a success.

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I would suggest you look at this regarding the price (which is closely related to the usefulness) of the land you're using. If you place this in the Gobi desert, which is largely uninhabited, and non-arable, nobody really cares if you use lots of land there because it has no (or very few) other uses.

The Drax powerplant is located smack in the middle of a densely populated and cultivated land. It's actually using up land that could easily be used for many other purposes.

 

The main issue of the location is that you must transport that electricity to somewhere else, which comes with its own investment and energy losses. I wonder how robust and efficient the Chinese electricity network is. It's mostly quite new, but it is a topic that I don't see a lot of news about.

 

 

The area taken up isn't the only consideration. I suspect that the value of the land for the solar power plant is rather less than that for Drax.

 

Quite - but as Drax burns about 500-1000 million bucks worth of coal/biomass a year and the cost of the solarcells will dwarf that of the land then the initial land costs quickly become unimportant in any comparison. All a bit moot for North Yorkshire / UK in general as not gonna get the watt/m2. I wanted to make the point that a technology that relies on area covered is only 100x or so less "area efficient" than a technology that relies on burning fossil fuels and biomass

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