Supergrids are by definition continental scale DC grids. The largest landmass on earth that could be covered by such such a supergrid is clearly Eurasia + Africa. If one thinks out of the box it is absolutely clear that linking the entire area of all three continents will achieve the absolute maximum value possible for any Continental scale supergrid. This land mass covers 14 time zones and both hemispheres of the Earth. That makes solar energy a lot more reliable and also wind energy. There are vast opportunities for hydroelectric energy storage in Siberia and Norway, and in Africa. There's also enormous hydroelectric potential capabilities in Africa and Siberia.
I am convinced that unless there is some breakthrough in a new energy technology such as cold fusion (now called low energy nuclear reactions) or some breakthrough that might be related to the zero point energy, renewable energy makes a great deal of sense as the basis for the worlds energy, economy.
Renewable energy benefits greatly from geographical spread of the risk of being becalmed or having the clouds cover the sun. It also benefits greatly from having access to remote hydroelectric energy storage sites.
I am calling on world leaders especially those interested in the one belt one road initiative to consider just how powerful it would be to install a tri-continental supergrid at the same time. Everyone could benefit from this. Poor countries like Namibia for example could develop solar energy facilities.
- Some sort of a guarantee to every country that the one belt one road one grid initiative goes through, that that country obtains subsidies or rights to build a certain fraction of the solar and/or wind capacity of the system.
- It is necessary to prevent a few countries from controlling most of the power output capability.
- These rights should be transferable among various countries by means of bilateral agreements.
- could be coupled with regulations that guarantee people putting solar cells on the roof to be compensated for that as long as they are linked electrically to the supergrid.
It would create a boost in the wealth of many poor countries if it is done right. If pure capitalism prevails unfortunately we may get huge solar energy farms and huge wind energy farms that will not really help the common person. It could also be the case that vast new nuclear power facilities would be built along the northern tier of the super grid so that the cooling of the Arctic ocean could be used. One never knows about what kinds of technological results may occur once one creates a tri-continental supergrid.
I think it is important to distribute the energy-producing capabilities widely and rooftop solar is a great way to achieve that.
Even in the future scenario in which low-energy nuclear reactions provide a lot of energy and can be done in a distributed manner, one still needs to deal with the waste heat and putting the waste heat from those processes into cities would definitely be a problem. There are best places to put that waste heat especially if one arranges to cause an upwelling in the ocean that increases fertility in a particular region of the ocean that is important for fishing by using the waste heat to create the upwelling.
Suppose you are wanting to build a school in Africa and there is a way to get income from the roof? And then the roof provides some of the energy you need and some to export? Wouldn't that be a lovely way to handle it?