An ambitious project sponsored by universities in Janpan and Algeria seeks to accelerate the production of energy from solar cell technology using silica and sunlight from the Sahara Desert. The objective is to first extract silica from the sand to create solar panels and then combine the panels to make solar power plants in the same geographic area. The plants would be used to power additional silica extraction and solar cell manufacturing, building exponentially on the energy potential with a target of providing 50 percent of the world's energy by 2050.
As detailed in a Gizmag.com article, the project is attempting to accomplish a number of things that haven't been done before.
Subscribing to the "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" philosophy, another major aim of the project is to train scientists and engineers from developing countries. To that end, the project won’t just bring well-understood technology from developed countries, but will involve people from both developing and developed countries working together on R&D right from the outset.
“Because technology hasn't yet been established for making silicon from desert sand, then using it to make solar cells, our aim is to work together from the basic research stage, so we can discover and nurture talented scientists and engineers in Africa," said Koinuma.
More power to this project and a sincere hope that they meet their objectives.