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A bold new project aims to power Europe with electricity captured from African desert sun

The world needs about 13 terawatts of power every year, a figure that will rise to about 20 terawatts by 2020. The amount of sunlight falling on the planet at any one time is around 120,000 terawatts—more than 9,000 times what we need. The case for solar power is simple: capture only a tiny fraction of 1 per cent of the sun’s energy and we could provide much more power than the world needs. Add a little energy efficiency and some renewable energy, and we can do it with ease.

Where to start? The obvious places are the parts of…

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