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Study: Deserts not only solar power spots

Oct. 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Hot deserts usually come to mind as prime places for solar power, but some of Earth's coldest places could be good energy sources, Japanese researchers say.

Kotaro Kawajiri and his colleagues, in an article in the U.S. journal Environmental Science & Technology, say many cold regions at high elevations -- including the Himalaya Mountains, the Andes and even Antarctica --receive so much sunlight their potential for producing power from the sun is higher than some desert areas.

Part of their study took into account the effects of temperature on the output of solar cells, and future work will take into consideration variables such as transmission losses and snowfall, they said.

Still, they said, the potential of high, cold locations is attractive.

The Himalayas, for example, which include Mount Everest, could be an ideal locale for solar fields providing electricity for the fast-expanding economy of the People's Republic of China, the researchers said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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