Wasn’t it that through carefully placed cloth, one could capture night’s (?) air moisture in a desert?
What if we could use solar panels to provide the shade underneath which, such moisture is catured, and/or immediately applied to plants (crop!) growing straught under the panels, so they survive due to temparatures not boiling them but being in the shade, they’re OK and can provide food and income, whilst providing electricity to … the rest of the world ..? Plant up the Sahara!
On a related note; how much desert surface woud one need, to a. lessen the world’s dependence on oil quickly by turning to the electricity generated, b. cooling the earth straight away by not letting the soil be heated by the sun but soaking up that heat in the panels, into … right.
And/or, whatddabout using the electricity to desalinate sea water, providing clean drinking/plant water to any land even remotely close to the sea ..?
Note that we would probably not need the latest, most expensive solar panels; cheap ones with “low” efficiency will do when sun is abundant. Could one bootstrap a factory that makes solar panels on the sort-of spot, using the electricity generated by some seed panels? Maybe not many, by #jobs-generated, too. Or have a look at this, though maybe a coupled, on-grid thing may scale even better.
And then, there’s this. Paint that generates hydrogen fuel — burn it, and you have clean water and (the heat to, if you’d need that) power engines. All in one; bring it on!
Also, creating less drought-related wars (as they are, all around! fact.), less mass people deplacements, refugees, -disasters (what they are, almost always), etc.
One can dream and/or ask, right? I just would want to see estimates – possibly they could be interesting to investors…
[Less global heating, less washed-up pirates; Dutch coastline ;-]