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Published on November 24th, 2012 | by Adam Johnston

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Help Wanted: Desertec Looking For Pilot Wind & Solar Projects



 
Desertec, an organization founded in Germany three years ago in order to boost renewable energy supply through the power of Middle East and North African wind and sun energy supplies, needs to have some mini worldwide projects in order to prove the concept and increase the overall credibility of the plan, according to one key investor.

In a recent Reuters article, Director of Desertec, Thiemo Gropp suggested the organization have 5-10 small scale pilot projects at a cost of €10-20 billion ($12.8-25.6 billion).

“You could move a lot if this would be realized, as concrete examples are the best means to convince,” Gropp said.

The German-based project is ambitious in scope and scale. With the overall project is pegged at €400 billion ($500 billion) by 2050, Desertec plans to give Europe one fifth of its energy from wind and solar from the Mid-East and North Africa by the middle of the 21st century, enough for Germany twice over. More from Reuters:

“The project, based in Munich, aims to use mirrors to harness the sun’s rays to produce steam and drive turbines to generate electricity in the Sahara region. It wants its plants to cover an area of 6,500 square miles and produce 1,064 terrawatt hours (TWh), almost enough energy to power Germany for two years.”

However, investment money has been a challenge to attract. Recently, both Bosch and Siemens said they would leave Desertec, while criticism over costs and politics have not done any favors to attract new investors.
 

 
Despite recent concerns, Gropp thinks pressure from the public, along with supportive public policy, will give some underlying support in boosting Desertec’s potential.

“We think things will move too slowly without any political support. More can be done,” he said, adding that financial aid as well as government loans or feed-in tariffs could be used to achieve this.

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About the Author

A University of Winnipeg graduate who received a three year B.A. with a combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Currently attempting to be a freelance social media coordinator. My eventual goal is to be a clean tech policy analyst down the road while I sharpen my skills as a renewable energy writer. Currently working on a book on clean tech and how to relate it to a broader audience. You can follow me on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at www.adammjohnston.wordpress.com



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