Advances in solar technology and a steady decline in manufacturing costs for solar generating plants may be about to result in a cost-effective way to remove the salt from seawater.
There is a huge need for desalination in the Gulf, the world’s driest region and home to a rapidly growing population. In the desert lands of the Gulf and other parts of the Middle East, drinking water is mostly supplied from energy-intensive processes including chemical treatments, thermal distillation and filtration by reverse osmosis. These are all big energy consumers — and can burn up oil, the lifeblood of the region’s economy. Read more about solar-powered desalination plants.