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用太阳能电池板覆盖撒哈拉沙漠会怎样?

What If We Covered the Sahara With Solar Panels?

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More energy will fall on the world’s deserts in 6 hours
世界上所有沙漠在六小时内接收的总能量
than the entire world will consume over the next year.
比全世界明年一年将消耗的能量都多
The Sahara desert is well known for being the world’s largest hot desert,
撒哈拉沙漠作为世界最大的炎热沙漠而闻名
but it’s probably a lot bigger than you even realize.
但它甚至可能比你认识到的要大的多
It’s nearly the same size as China,
几乎和整个中国一样大
it spans across 10 different countries and 3 different time zones,
撒哈拉沙漠跨越了10个国家 3个时区
and it gets absolutely massacred by sunlight.
暴晒于酷热的阳光之下
This is a map that shows annual sunshine hours across the world.
这幅图显示了世界各地的年日照时数
There are some notable hot spots in North America, South America, and Southern Africa,
北美 南美以及南非都有一些明显的热点
but nowhere gets as much as the Sahara Desert.
但没有一个地方接收的热量能像撒哈拉沙漠这么多
Most of this China-sized chunk of land gets more than 3600 hours of sunlight a year,
这个与中国同样大小的沙漠 其大部分地区的年日照时间都超过了3600个小时
and within that big chunk is this other chunk that gets more than 4000 hours a year.
而在这块区域中间 则是年日照时间超过4000小时的地方
For reference, that’s nearly four times the amount of annual sunlight that Germany gets.
作为参考 这个数量几乎是德国年日照时间的四倍
Most of this is because the Sahara Desert is
导致这一现象的原因主要是因为
A, pretty much directly along the tropic of cancer
第一 撒哈拉沙漠几乎直接位于北回归线上
which means the sun for a lot of the year is pretty much directly over it,
这意味着它一年中大多数时间里都几乎在太阳直射下的
and B, clouds pretty much never form or even exist over the entire desert.
第二 云层几乎从不会在沙漠上方成形甚至存在
which means all that sunlight is never interrupted.
这意味着这些直射的阳光从不会中断
The Sahara consequently is the best location anywhere on earth
结果撒哈拉就成了地球上
to place solor panels and develop solar farms.
放置太阳能电池板 建立太阳能发电站的最佳地点
So then begs the question, what if we cover the entire desert with solar panels?
这就引出了一个问题 如果我们用太阳能电池板覆盖整个撒哈拉沙漠会怎样?
How much energy would we actually be able to produce and how would this change our planet?
我们实际可以产能多少 这又会如何改变我们的星球?
Let’s take a deep dive.
我们来深入研究一下
For starters, let’s begin here.
首先 从这里开始
This is the where’s that solar power station in Morocco,
这是摩洛哥的太阳能发电站所在地
the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant currently in existence in a marvel of modern engineering.
也是现代工程的奇迹 世界现存最大的集中式太阳能发电厂
Once fully completed and operational,
一旦完全建成投入使用
the plant will take up an area of 25 square kilometers
这个发电厂将占地25平方千米
and be capable of producing 582 megawatts of electricity.
发电能力可达582兆瓦
It will even be capable of storing solar energy in the form of superheated molten salt,
它甚至可以高温熔融盐的形式储存太阳能
which allows for further production of electricity even into the night.
这样一来连夜间的持续发电也可考虑在内
After investing more than 9 billion dollars into their solar energy objective,
在太阳能发电站投入了超90亿美金后
Morocco aims to create 4 additional plants similar to this one in the Sahara
摩洛哥打算多建立四个与撒哈拉这个差不多的发电厂
that will collectively create more than 2000 megawatts of electricity production
这些发电厂总发电将超2000兆瓦
which will be enough to provide for roughly 38% of all of Morocco’s annual electricity needs.
而这些电力将足以满足整个摩洛哥年用电需求的38%左右
This project will transform Morocco into the world’s leading solar energy state,
这个计划将会让摩洛哥成为世界上太阳能领域的领先国家
and as the only African country that currently has a power cable linked to Europe,
而且作为目前唯一一个与欧洲有电缆相通的非洲国家
much of this energy will be exported for profit to the countries of the European Union.
这些发电厂的能量又会有大部分出口到欧盟国家换取利润
But all of this energy is created from just five relatively small plants.
而这些能量仅仅来源于五个相对较小的发电厂
What happens when we scale things up a bit and think bigger?
如果我们把这些数字再扩大一点 格局再放大一点会怎么样?
One of the few organizations thinking about Sahara solar energy production in the future
想到撒哈拉这一太阳能前景的少数公司
is the German Energy Company Desertec
就包括德国能源公司 沙漠技术
which happens to be an investor of the Moroccan Solor Energy Project.
而这家公司刚好又是摩洛哥太阳能计划的投资者之一
Acorroding to their research and data taken from the German Aerospace Center,
根据他们在德国航空中心的研究和数据
a solar panel array of just this small size in the Sahara
在撒哈拉 仅这样大小的一排太阳能电池板
could power 100% of Germany’s entire electricity needs,
就能百分百满足整个德国的用电需求
an array of this size could power the entire Europeen Union,
要是这么大则能满足整个欧盟的用电需求
while an array of just this size could power the entire world’s modern electricity needs
而仅仅到这个尺寸 供电量达到大约18兆瓦左右
at approximately 18 trillion watts give or take a bit.
就能满足整个现代世界的用电需求了
Considering that a typical solar panel generate roughly 350 watts of power,
考虑到一块普通的太阳能电池板大约能发电350瓦
this earth-powering array would encompass around 51.4 billion solar panels,
这个能为全球发电的电池板阵列得包括约514亿块太阳能电池板
and will be roughly the same size as the US state of New Mexico,
而且整个阵列大概将会有美国新墨西哥州那么大
quite a large amount of land but it’s nothing when compared with the vastness of the Sahara
尽管这是很大一块区域 但跟撒哈拉的广阔比起来也就不值一提了
that also happens to be incredibly sparsely populated.
刚好撒哈拉又是人口十分稀少的地方
Only about two and a half million people live across the Sahara,
整个撒哈拉只有约250万人居住
which means that its population density is on a par with Siberia,
这意味着它的人口密度与西伯利亚不相上下
which further means that it’s posible to set up huge solar farms like this
也就说明在撒哈拉建立这样的大型太阳能发电站
without too much of a negative impact on the local inhabitants.
并且不对当地居民造成太多负面影响是有可能的
The desertec project doesn’t quite intend on transforming the entire Sahara into a solar farm,
沙漠技术的计划并不打算将整个撒哈拉变成一个太阳能发电站
but it’s still quite ambitious.
但是它的计划仍然雄心勃勃
The general idea is to set up a series of massive solar farms
它的大致想法是在撒哈拉边界以及中东部深入一些的区域
across the Sahara’s perimeter and deeper into the Middle East.
建立一系列的超大太阳能发电站
Once constructed, this connection of solar farms will provide
一旦建立起来 这个相互连接的太阳能发电站网络
for the majority of Africa’s and the Middle East’s electricity needs,
就能满足非洲和中东地区的大部分用电需求
while shipping any excess power across cables to Europe,
同时还能通过电缆把多余的电力传输到欧洲
that could supply as much as 15% of the continent’s entire electricity needs.
这能满足整个欧洲大陆多达15%的用电需求
This is a real-life plan that’s undergone significant amounts of research and investment.
这些都是实际的计划 而且投入了大量的研究和投资
But why are they only planning on building solar farms around the Sahara’s perimeter?
但是为什么他们只计划在撒哈拉的外围建立发电站呢
Well, while there’s lots of obvious benefits to constructing solar farms in the empty Sahara,
好吧 尽管在空旷的撒哈拉建立太阳能发电站有许多显而易见的优势
there’s also lots of problems.
但同样存在着很多问题
First of all the Sahara‘s emptiness itself is both a blessing and a curse
首先 撒哈拉的空旷本身就既有优点也有缺点
On the one hand, it means that almost nobody will have to be relocated or moved off their land,
一方面 这意味着几乎不需有人搬家或者迁离原土
but on the other hand there isn’t any infrastructure to actually get
另一方面 那里同样没有任何基础设施来
the massive amounts of supplies into place in any kind of cost effective manner.
以经济的方式将所需的大量物料运至目的地
I mean look at this map.
看这张地图
There’s only like four roads that even stretch across the Sahara from the north to the south.
撒哈拉只有四条路从北向南延伸
There are huge empty pockets of land across the desert without a single road at all.
也就意味着整个沙漠有巨大的空旷区域是没有任何道路的
And some of these areas like this northwestern pocket of chad
而且在这些区域中 像这块西北部的区域
are more than 600 kilometers away from the nearest road.
离最近的道路相隔超过600千米的距离
Transporting billions of solar panels to a remote area like this
要运输数十亿块太阳能电池板到这样一个偏远地区
will necessitate building countless new expensive highways or railroads to get them there,
就必须修建无数条造价昂贵的公路或铁路
and that’s why Desertech is only planning on constructing plants around the Sahara.
这就是沙漠技术公司为何只计划在撒哈拉外围建立发电厂的原因
But let’s forget all of that for a moment and just think about
不过让我们先忽略掉这些不利因素
the cost of the solar panels themselves in a Sahara sized array.
只考虑这些相当于整个撒哈拉面积的太阳能电池板本身所需成本
A pretty average 350 watt solar panel typically costs
现在一个非常普通 发电量可达350瓦的太阳能电池板
anywhere between 200$ and 415$ once fully installed on a residential roof today.
一旦在住宅屋顶上安装完毕 其成本通常介于200到415美金之间
Since we know that it’s going to be expensive transporting and installing
既然我们已知 要把所有这些太阳能电池板运到并安装在
all of them in the middle of one of the world’s most remote locations,
世界上最偏远的沙漠里 其费用将会非常昂贵
we’re going to stick with a high cost estimate here
我们就得把成本预估的高一点
and tack on an additional 300$ delivery infrastructure fees
再加上用于基础设施运输费用的额外300美金
and 250 more dollars for installation fees.
以及安装费用的250美金
Conveniently, this math makes the total cost for each 350 watt panel exactly 1000$,
这样算来 每块350瓦的太阳能电池板的总成本刚好是1000美金
so from there you can figure out pretty quickly that the 51.4 billion solar panels
这样一来你就可以很快算出 要建立一个新墨西哥州大小的电池板阵列
needed to fit inside of our New Mexico sized array
来为全球供电 需要514亿块太阳能电池板
that’ll power the entire planet will cost a cool 51.4 trillion US dollars.
一共需要花费整整514万亿美金
For reference that’s approximately 60% of the entire world‘s GDP
作为参考 这大约相当于全球GDP的60%
but it would enable us to immediately switch all of our electricity over
但是 这样我们就能立即把所有电力
to renewable solar, so that’s pretty cool.
都转换成可再生的太阳能 所以这也挺厉害的
All right then, now let’s just assume that we’ve turned on infinite money
好了 现在我们就假设一下 钱不是任何问题
and we expended upon this by filling up the entire Sahara desert with solar panels,
然后我们把它都花在用太阳能电池板覆盖整个撒哈拉沙漠上
what is going to happen now?
那么现在会发生什么?
Well, for starters, if we assume that the solar panels are 100% efficient,
首先 如果我们假设这些电池板的发电效率能达到100%
the entire Sahara desert will probably now be producing somewhere around the neighborhood
那么整个撒哈拉沙漠每年的发电量可能
of 1.3 million terawatt hours of electricity per year,
可以达到大约130万万亿瓦小时
so to put that number into perspective, the entire contemporary human species
为了正确认识这个数字 2019年全人类消耗的能量
consumed about 173,000 terawatt hours of energy in 2019,
也就大约为17.3万万亿瓦小时
and that’s not just electricity, that’s all energy consumed for everything we did that year.
而且这个数字不仅仅包括电力 而是包括我们2019年所有活动所消耗的能量
A Sahara desert covered in solar panels would generate more than seven times the amount of energy
一个完全覆盖太阳能电池板的撒哈拉沙漠 其发电量就能超过
that all of the nearly 8 billion humans of the world collectively consume right now.
目前世界上几乎80亿人类总消耗能量的七倍
Obviously this would present revolutionary changes to what mankind could be capable of
这明显会给人类的能力带来革命性的变化
and not just even closer to a type 1 Kardashev style civilization,
这种通过控制整个撒哈拉所赋予人类的巨大能量
but this overwhelming power given to humanity by harnessing the entire Sahara
不仅已达到接近卡尔达肖夫1型文明的程度
would also come with some significant costs.
而且也会带来不小的代价
The black surfaces of the solar panels dotting the Sahara
这些遍布撒哈拉的太阳能电池板的黑色表面
will of course absorb most of the sunlight hitting the Sahara.
当然会吸收大部分直射撒哈拉的阳光
Only a tiny fraction of that incoming energy will actually be converted into electricity,
但这些吸收的能量只有很小部分会实际被转化为电力
while the overwhelming majority will be returned back to the environment as heat.
而剩下的绝大部分能量将会以热量的形式回到环境中
In turn this heat will trigger a sort of feedback loop
所以这些热量就会导致一种反馈循环
in which the heat emitted by the solar panels would create a steep temperature differential
即这些太阳能电池板放射的热量会在这片陆地和周围的海洋之间
between the land and the surrounding oceans.
造成巨大的温差
This will ultimately lower the surface air pressure and cause moist air to rise
这种循环最终会降低沙漠表面的气压 然后导致潮湿空气上升
and condense into clouds and rain across the desert.
凝结成云 最后在整个沙漠下起雨来
So by covering the entire Sahara with solar panels
因此 用太阳能电池板覆盖整个撒哈拉
will also unwittingly be terraforming the desert Sahara into a green Sahara at the same time.
同时也会无意中把沙漠撒哈拉改造成绿色撒哈拉
In some ways this will be good,
某种意义上来说这是好事
because it will open up a massive amount of land the size of China to colonization, human settlement
因为这会开辟出相当于一个中国大小的大片土地 用于殖民或者人类居住
and critically for the emerging economies of North Africa
而且严格来说 对于新兴的北非经济
extensive economy development for their countries and their people.
这也会为那些国家及其国民带来巨大的经济发展
But in other ways this will be really bad.
但换个角度这将是件大坏事
The Amazon rainforest over in South America is extensively fed and fertilized by dust
撒哈拉的尘土经过大西洋 吹往南美洲
coming over from the Sahara that gets blown across the Atlantic,
极大地滋养了位于南美洲的亚马逊雨林
while the Atlantic ecosystems themselves also benefit from this fertile dust as well.
并让大西洋的生态系统也从其营养中受益
Removing all of the sands of the Sahara desert could create a cascade of unforeseen events
所以一旦去掉撒哈拉的这些尘土 可能会导致大量不可预见的后果
that could wipe out entire ecosystems in the Atlantic, the Amazon and probably beyond,
这些后果可能会彻底摧毁大西洋 亚马逊 甚至可能更外围的整个生态系统
and create an epic climate catastrophe the likes we have never seen before.
然后造成一场我们从未见过的巨大气候灾难
In summary, covering the entire Sahara with solar panels would be epic,
总而言之 用太阳能电池板覆盖整个撒哈拉的确会是个壮举
but it’s also not feasible, it’s probably pretty dangerous and it’s not even necessary either.
但这也是不可行的 而且可能十分危险 甚至没有什么必要这样做
We only needs solar panels covering the area of New Mexico
我们只需要能够覆盖一个新墨西哥州面积的太阳能电池板
to meet all 8 billion humans modern electricity needs,
就能满足80亿人口的现代用电需求
and they don’t even need to be all in the same place.
而且这些电池板甚至不需要都在同一处
They can be spread out across all of the world’s deserts or anywhere where it’s sunny.
它们可以分布于世界各地的沙漠或者任何阳光充足的地方
And hopefully by the end of the century we’ll have made some pretty decent progress here.
希望到这个世纪末我们能在这方面取得长足的进步
Now maybe you are sitting here wondering how solar panels and solar energy actually work.
你现在可能正奇怪太阳能电池板和太阳能是如何运作的
In order to help myself better understand that very thing for this video,
为了让自己更好地理解这期视频的主题
I took the full solar energy course that’s offered on Brilliant.
我完整地学习了Brilliant网站提供的太阳能课程
Maybe you’re interested in the very same thing,
你可能也对这个问题感兴趣
or maybe you just want to brush up on the basics of math and logic,
或者只想加强数学和逻辑学的基础知识的学习
or maybe you just want to learn more about how our world works,
或者只想了解更多关于世界如何运转的知识
so what should you do?
那你该怎么办呢?
Well, you ‘re already watching educational videos here on youtube, which is a great start,
好吧 你已经在YouTube上观看教育类视频了 这是个不错的开始
but in order to really learn something, you’ve got to actually do it,
不过为了真正地学到东西 你必须真正去学
and that’s what Brilliant will come into help.
这就是Brilliant的好处所在了
Brilliant is a website and app build off of this exact principle:
Brilliant是一个基于以下原则建立的网站和应用:
you learn the best while doing and solving in real time,
只有边做边实时解决问题 你才能学的最好
you can jump directly into solving problems and be coached bit by bit until before you even realize it,
你可以直接跳到解决问题的环节 一步步接收辅导 然后在你意识到之前
you‘ve learned a new subject in STEM.
你就已经学会了STEM的一门新课程
Let’s take this lesson they offer on the Pythagorean theorem as an example.
拿这个勾股定理的课程举例
You may remember from school what the formula is,
你可能记得在学校学的公式
but in this lesson you’re moving around triangles,
但在这个课程中你将会直接移动这些三角形
and actually proving that A squared plus B squared is equal to C squared.
然后实际证明A平方加B平方等于C平方
Every lesson you take on Brilliant is as interactive and as easy to understand as this one,
Brilliant上的每个课程都跟这个课程一样 互动性强 容易理解
and it scales all the way up from here to complex topics that you never imagine
而且它的课程涵盖了从简单的数学问题到你从未想象过
you would actually understand.
你能真正理解的复杂问题
You won’t ever be asked to memorize long, complicated formulas and endless facts.
它不会让你去记忆那些冗长复杂的公式或者数不清的事实
You just pick a course you’re interested like solar energy or computer science and just get started.
你只需选择一门感兴趣的课程比如太阳能或计算机科学 然后开始学习就行了
And if you’re feeling stuck or you make a mistake,
如果你感觉卡住了或者犯了个错
you can simply read the explanations to find out more and learn at your own pace.
你只要看一下上面的解释 按照自己的步调学习就行
The best part about Brilliant though is that there’s something there for everybody,
但Brilliant最大的优势还是 它对任何人都要可供学习的东西
whether you want to start the basics of science, math or computer science,
不管你是想学习科学 数学或是计算机科学的基础知识
or dive straight into cutting-edge topics, like differential equations or neural networks.
还是直接深入学习最前沿的知识 比如微分方程或者神经网络
I always struggled with learning complicated STEM subject while I was in school,
上学的时候 我一直苦于学习那些复杂的STEM课程
because it was so easy for me to get overwhelmed by a huge wall of information
因为我很容易被那些对我来说难以找到重点的
that was difficult for me to ever focus on.
巨大信息量所埋没
But now, Brilliant has helped me so much with learning about all of these things
但现在 Brilliant帮助我学会了所有那些
that I used to think were just a lost cause.
我以前觉得注定学不会的东西
And they help me make videos like the one you just watched.
而且他们还帮我制作了你刚刚看的那个太阳能视频
So if you’d like to join me and the community of 8 million other learners and educators today,
现在 前两百名访问以下链接Brilliant.org/reallifelore
you can get started on anything from Astrophysics to Algebra2 for 20% off
或者直接点击简介中的网址
by being one of the first 200 people who go to Brilliant.org/reallifelore,
加入我和我们这个包含800万学习者和教育者的社区
or by following the link down in the description.
从天体物理学到代数2 任何课程你都能享受八折优惠
And as always, thank you so much for watching.
一如既往 非常感谢你的观看

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视频概述

将撒哈拉沙漠全部覆盖太阳能电池板真的可行吗?

听录译者

琳琳琳

翻译译者

人间忽晚

审核员

审核员SRY

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62ASvupr8Zg

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