Aqaba Project

Sahara Forest Projects' new Aqaba facility

Sahara Forest Projects’ new Aqaba facility

A couple of weeks ago the Sahara Forest Project announced the opening of an exciting new facility at Aqaba in Jordan. It takes forward the concept of solar powered desalination and energy generation to make possible highly productive horticulture in hot dry deserts. This project has been a long time in the making; in February 2011 I blogged about seawater greenhouses and flagged up plans for a project near Aqaba. In January 2013 I wrote a blog about the Sahara Forest Projects excellent one hectare experimental project in Qatar. In October 2016 I wrote a blog about Sundrop opening the first commercial scale solar powered desert based horticultural project opening at Port Augusta in Australia. This new facility at Aqaba only has 3 hectares of glasshouses, with plans to expand to 20 hectares in a possible stage two of the project.

This Friday, 22nd September, I’ll be giving an updated version of my talk ‘Can We Feed Nine Billion People Sustainably?’ Of course my answer is an emphatic ‘YES’ with a few big ‘ifs and buts’. One of the ideas I’ll be including in this talk is how humanity might invest in some very big projects that could combat multiple problems simultaneously, from climate change to poverty, war and the factors creating so many refugees and migrants. One example I want to explore with the live audience is how one might invest say, £100 billion, or a trillion, to expand a project like this at Aqaba into thousands of acres of solar power, greenhouses, orchards and farmland in the desert and forming the basis of a new type of city devoted to sustainable and socially inclusive prosperity. Jordan currently hosts a very high number of refugees in a very generous way, especially given the poverty of many of its own citizens. Theoretically I want to explore if we could bring this entire population of about nine million people living in Jordan up to a Scandinavian standard of living and do it in ways that provided a model for other countries to follow? If you’re in Leominster this Friday do come and listen, ask questions and join in the discussion. I learn so much from your feedback.

 

2 thoughts on “Aqaba Project

  1. lenny marlow

    solar power is going to redistribute wealth.
    Ideas have been floated to have large solar power installations on the North African coast and carry the output across the Mediterranean to Eastern Europe and Western Europe – and this will probably happen. However why not move the factories to where the energy is? In fact if we had been more pro resolving climate change such factory cities could have been up and running already and the tide of refugees from Africa would never have happened.
    Siting industry in North Africa (and elsewhere in Africa) would very quickly change the economic model

    Reply
    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Lenny

      Yes I absolutely agree and have said as much in lots of talks. Probably mentioned somewhere on this blog. On the writings page of this blog is a link to a 2008 essay I wrote called Solar Solutions which makes the case for moving industry to deserts where solar energy will be cheapest form of energy anywhere on Earth

      Reply

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