Sahara Forest Project creates a saltwater value chain to generate electricity, produce freshwater, and revegetate desert lands.


  • Increased biodiversity
  • Restorative
  • Adaptable
  • Reduced emissions


  • Energy generation
  • Agriculture

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

  • Goal 12: Responsible Production & Consumption

The Challenge

The world is facing intertwined challenges of food, water and energy security, as well as climate change and desertification. These challenges require new approaches to how the world generates electricity and reduces emissions. Most energy is generated through the burning of fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. These gases absorb solar energy and keep heat close to the Earth, known as the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming.

Innovation Details

The Sahara Forest Project functions similarly to an ecosystem by using natural resources to produce food, water, and vegetation, and increase . It is a commercially viable way to bring saltwater into the desert, and also works as an enabling technology, creating opportunities for a wide range of businesses to develop alongside it. These include salt extraction, traditional desalination, algae production, halophyte cultivation, mariculture, bioenergy and more. The core technologies include saltwater-cooled greenhouses, solar power for electricity and power generation, and technologies for desert revegetation. Additionally, the soil and plants within these processes also assist in sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Image: Sahara Forest Project / Copyright © - All rights reserved

The Sahara Forest Project aims to bring saltwater to the desert.

video thumbnail