A greenhouse-solar power combination
A greenhouse-solar power combination is being planned to potentially provide food, fresh water and energy to deserts.
A team of architects and environmental engineers has proposed covering swaths of the Sahara with vast "salt water greenhouses" powered by solar power arrays, in a plan they call the Sahara Forest Project.
Charlie Paton, inventor of the salt water greenhouse, says the combined technologies could transform patches of the desert from arid wastelands into lush expanses that produce a bounty of fruits and vegetables for local people.
Michael Pawlyn, part of the Sahara Forest team, said that the Seawater Greenhouse and CSP provided substantial synergies for each other.
According to guardian.co.uk, he said, "Both technologies work extremely well in hot, dry, desert locations. CSP produces a lot of waste heat and we'd be able to use that to evaporate more seawater from the greenhouse. And CSP needs a supply of clean, de-mineralised water in order for the [electricity generating] turbines to function and to keep the mirrors at peak output. It just so happens the Seawater Greenhouse produces large quantities of this."
Paton has built demonstration greenhouses on the Spanish island Tenerife, as well as in Abu Dhabi and Oman; he says there is further interest in funding demonstration projects from across the Middle East, including UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.