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Solar panels in Sahara could boost renewable energy but damage the global climate – here's why

By Zhengyao Lu, Researcher in Physical Geography, Lund University
Benjamin Smith, Director of Research, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University
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The world’s most forbidding deserts could be the best places on Earth for harvesting solar power – the most abundant and clean source of energy we have. Deserts are spacious, relatively flat, rich in silicon – the raw material for the semiconductors from which solar cells are made — and never short of sunlight. In fact, the ten largest solar plants around the world are all located in deserts or dry regions.


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