African Sun for Europe

Following my last blog I taught I should write something a bit more positive. This is a plan by a foundation called Desertec which is acting on behalf of a consortium of European companies including. Munich Re,Deutsche Bank, Siemens, ABB, E.ON, RWE, Abengoa Solar, Cevital, HSH Nordbank, MAN, ENEL and EDF.

The plan is to put a huge amount of solar power plants in the Sahara Desert and bring the power into Europe the project would eventually supply Europe with approximately 50% of if energy needs.

I know this project sounds a bit pie in the sky but even with is massive price tag there is a lot of interest and the members of the consortium at present are by no means small time.

This is the Desertec web site.

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Posted in climate change, corporate sustainability, economic development, energy, food, government policy, industrial ecology, sustainable buildings, sustainable development, sustainable living, sustainable technologies
2 comments on “African Sun for Europe
  1. jeremy says:

    Might be preferable to relying on gas from Russia given the record of some of the energy companies from that part of the world http://content.undp.org/go/newsroom/2010/april/russian-energy-sector–driving-or-hindering-human-development.en;jsessionid=aO1qw7yopReb

  2. @Jeremy: If you have a look at the consortium in my link, there are only central European companies involved, predominantly from Germany. Hope that you don’t rank the Russians over them.
    I remember this project being published last year. Given the combination of financial key players and energy industry experts collaborating in the consortium, this project is definitely more than ‘a pie in the sky’. Since I read the first time of this endeavour, I hope that solar power will finally make a major step forward to become autonomous without the need of state support. Till today, solar power is very expensive in comparison to other energy sources, including wind power.
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Cents_Per_Kilowatt-Hour

    Given the outstanding dimension of ‘Desertec’, economies of scale and the locational advantages of a desert through sunshine duration and intensity are likely to make it finally competitive. The only major burden is still the long distance for transferring the power back to Europe which leads to significant losses.
    I didn’t know that Middle Asia will be involved as well. The level of collaboration with desert states shall even involve knowledge transfer (which surprises me a bit), “Dii aims to facilitating and encouraging investments in the framework of the DESERTEC concept, including knowledge transfer to the MENA [Middle East & North Africa] area and the establishment of local industries.”, according to this document:
    http://www.banking-on-green.com/docs/Dii_Brochure_as_of_February2010.pdf

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