The sun is coming out. And Europe isn’t waiting any longer. Some of the biggest businesses in Europe are ready to invest in the largest solar energy project in the world. They are looking to create a “solar energy belt” in the Middle East and North Africa.
How will the energy get to Europe? It will go through huge “super grids” under the Mediterranean Sea. Has this kind of thing happened before? Siemens CEO, Peter Löscher, says: “A few years ago we connected Tasmania with the Australian continent. And from 2011 there will be a 250-kilometer undersea cable supplying Majorca with electricity from the Spanish mainland. For us, this kind of thing is now part of our core business.”
The project is being called the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative. Last week, some of the biggest companies in Europe and the DESERTEC Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Munich to get the initiative going. The project intends to “meet around 15% of Europe’s electricity requirements and a substantial portion of the power needs of the producer countries.”
In a similar manner, but involving much different technology, Siemens connected the US and Europe more than a century ago. “Siemens connected America and Europe via telephone cables under the Atlantic as early as 1874, before other companies existed. That mammoth project was considered as ambitious as Desertec is today.”
This initiative is anticipated to be a benefit in economic, environmental, social, and political ways. Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan states: “The partnerships that will be formed across the regions as a result of the DESERTEC project will open a new chapter in relations between the people of the European Union, West Asia and North Africa.” Max Schön, President of the German Association of the Club of Rome, says: “The establishment of the DII is a giant leap by industry for the lasting protection of human life.” Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank, states: “The Initiative shows in what dimensions and on what scale we must think if we are to master the challenges from climate change both in ecological and economic terms.”
Overarching goals of the project include energy security in the participating regions, growth and development opportunities for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, safeguarding future water supplies in MENA countries, and reducing carbon-dioxide emissions to meet European Union and German climate change targets.
As one article involving an interview with the CEO of Siemens AG detailed, the project could even supply Europe with 20% of its energy needs by 2050. The benefits are not only long-term, though. The plans are to start producing energy for Europe in about one decade.
As written about in a previous post, the leaders in green energy are expected to lead the world. Will the United States and major US companies like General Electric and Bank of America keep up? Hopefully.
1) Half a Trillion Dollars to Build Huge Desertec Plan?
2) Desertec Advances: Massive Solar Power Project No Longer a Mirage?
Image credit: Heaven’s Gate (John) (Creative Commons license)
[email protected], I can imagine ET coming for real well before your dream machine.
I know this is a bit of a wet blanket but I really think that the technology to extract electricity from infrared rays will be the way to go.
There is increasing concern that governments are allowing companies to reduce the price paid to producers of exported renewable energy. Large banks and organizations dominate the large scale markets of renewable energy generation that have up till now made significant profits in the current climate.
The price of energy doesn´t seem to get cheaper – clearly the changes must be made within each of us and adopt our own renewable energy generating capabilities and reduce our demand on expensive, fluctuating imported energy.
Verdegía in Spain have a solution, Solar Engine Systems that generate plenty of green energy. If we ourselves, government and councils adopted this type of new technology then we could all very quickly change the effects of our demand on fossil fuels. – The Solar Engine Systems supplied from Verdegía boast 39kW/h and operate 24/7. That´s enough energy for 12 or more homes! And, they only take up the space of a single 200W PV panel.
A major cost in renewable energy farms is the infrastructure, land and high capital investment, producing electricity locally within a distributed network is the most cost effective. It’s time to move away from large expensive solar farms and into the next generation of high performance renewable energy generators that effectively create a solar farm within one panel and at a 100th of the cost. This technology will allow us to turn vacant city rooftops into a hive of renewable generators that will not only feed our cities but will provide energy independence.
Imagine a future where electricity was FREE and in public places you could just plug in and know that the energy being consumed has come from 100% renewable sources.