Area Required to Power the UAE with Solar

The above image is a comparison of concentrated solar power with the recently awarded nuclear power contract for the UAE. Admittedly, there are far more variables at play than are shown in this simplified graphic. But it is interesting to see that with existing technology, the possibility does exist to convert 100% of the UAE's energy production over to solar power which would take up the area of the larger dark square. Of course the CSP would not be all in one location but spread out to many smaller installations. The price tag to make the switch would be approximately $30,000 per capita (1.8 million residents) for construction at $4,200 per KW capacity. Amortized over 60 years, that's $500 per person per year. It would be a permanent solution that is sustainable for hundreds of years with proper maintenance. More oil and gas could be exported rather than combusted for electricity, the skies would be clearer, and there would be no concern about spent nuclear fuel or risks of fallout.

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