New research suggests the Sahara’s environment could be transformed by the introduction of wind turbines and solar panels. The model also suggests that potential renewable energy farms in the Sahara could deliver about 82 terawatts of electrical power annually. To put that into perspective, the global energy demand was only 18 terawatts in 2017. It’s the largest hot desert in the world: the Sahara , a blistering landscape of sand, heat, and deadly dryness that swallows 10 nations and is growing bigger all the time . Because of its searing, sunny conditions, numerous energy projects are already seeking to capitalize on the immense solar potential of the Sahara . But new research shows an amazing, unprecedented effect of these efforts: solar and wind farms could actually bring rainfall and greenery back to the desert. "We found that the large-scale installation of solar and wind farms can bring more rainfall and promote vegetation growth in these regions," says one of the researchers, atmospheric scientist Eugenia Kalnay from the University of Maryland. "The rainfall increase is a consequence of complex land-atmosphere interactions that occur because solar panels and wind turbines create rougher and darker land surfaces." Yves Herman/Reuters Scientists already knew […]


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