Task 8

Study on very large scale photovoltaic power generation systems

It is already known that the world’s very large deserts present a substantial amount of energy-supplying potential. Given the demands on world energy in the 21st century, and when considering global environmental issues, the potential for harnessing this energy is of huge import and has formed the backbone and motive for this Task8.

The objectives of the Task 8 are to examine and evaluate the potential of very large scale photovoltaic power generation (VLS-PV) systems, which have a capacity ranging from several megawatts to gigawatts, and to develop practical project proposals for implementing the VLS-PV projects in desert countries.

For this purpose, in Phase 1 (1999-2002), key factors that enable VLS-PV systems feasibility were identified and the benefits of this system’s applications for neighbouring regions were clarified as well as the potential contribution of system application to global environment protection and renewable energy utilization in the long term was clarified. Mid- and long term scenario options for making VLS-PV systems feasible in some given areas were also proposed.

Based on the mid- and long-term scenario options of Phase 1, in Phase 2 (2003-2005) case studies on VLS-PV systems were carried out in depth and practical proposals for demonstrative research projects on pilot PV systems suitable for selected regions, which enable sustainable growth into VLS-PV Systems in the future, and general instruction to propose practical projects for large-scale PV system were discussed.

In Phase 3 (2006-2008), toward a realization of VLS-PV Systems, specific discussions from viewpoints of socio-economic, financial, technical and environmental aspect were carried out, and VLS-PV roadmap toward 2100 was proposed.

Task8 started its Phase-4 activity (2009-2011). In Phase 4, for accomplishment of Task8 activity, implementing strategies and engineering designs for VLS-PV projects are discussed and proposed. Further, various kinds of environmental impacts are evaluated and feasible technical options are discussed in depth. Based on the discussion including previous phases, VLS-PV proposals which would be useful for stakeholders are developed.

Energy from the Desert - Task8 has achieved a comprehensive analysis of all the major issues of such large scale applications, based on latest scientific and technological developments and through close international co-operation of experienced from different countries.

The first concrete set was published entitled: “Energy from the Desert -Feasibility of Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation (VLS-PV) Systems-“, in 2003. The publication is well-known in all over the world, especially, in desert countries. Some countries and regions are referring that for developing their vision of PV deployment.

Since the 1st edition, Task8 studied and proposed more in-depth, realistic and practical, demonstrative approaches toward the realization of VLS-PV in different deserts of the world: e.g., the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. These results were published, in Jan. 2007, entitled “Energy from the Desert - Practical Proposals for Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Systems” to show new knowledge how to make Very Large Scale PV Systems happen in the desert.

In September 2009, Task8 published the latest report entitled “Energy from the Desert –Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Systems, Socio-Economic, Financial, Technical and Environmental Aspects”. This will motivate expected stakeholders to realize VLS-PV project in the near future. Moreover, a series of proposals from different viewpoints and directions will enable us to provide essential knowledge or detailed practical instructions in order to realize the sustainable implementation of VLS-PV development in the future.

These reports have been published as commercial books (see http://www.earthscan.co.uk), and the summary documents can be downloaded, by free, under Archive.  

application/pdf  IEA-PVPS Task 8 - Energy from the Desert - 2013 Edition
Summary Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Power - State of the Art and Into the Future
2013/04/29,  9.7 MB,