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Algiers, Algeria Builds Solar Plant

The amount of potential energy from the sun is greater than the amount of electricity consumed by the entire planet over one year. While this is an encouraging statistic, technical and financial factors have made it a daunting task to create electricity from solar energy. However, with the climate at risk and growing public support for newer, cleaner technologies, the obstacles preventing widespread solar adoption are quickly becoming easier to overcome. Algeria is an example of a place where these obstacles to PV (Photo-voltaic) systems are being surmounted. The construction of a solar plant in the Hassi R’mel area of Algeria is expected to conclude in 2010. The plant will deliver 150 Megawatts of naturally produced, zero emissions electricity.

One of the more encouraging facts about this development in the renewable energy movement is that oil and natural gas sales make up the lion’s portion of Algeria’s exports. This means the country currently has no need to power its’ economy on solar power. However, the countries’ leaders recognize that the fossil fuel resources will run out at some point, and that preemptive action has to be taken in order to insure a prosperous future. Traditionally, oil bearing countries have tried to stop renewable energy at all costs, fearing they would be destroying their primary export in the process. Algeria, at least, has realized a fatal flaw in this aforementioned fear. If you are slowly retrofitting the infrastructure of your country to run on renewable power sources, and thereby curbing the demand for oil in the process, then you have replaced your fossil fuel economy with a renewable fuel economy. Seems like a win-win situation, especially when you factor in all the domestic jobs you gain in Algeria as a result of renewable industry.

Three cheers for the North African country of Algeria. Hopefully all of the oil rich countries around the world will pursue a similar path.