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Last Updated:[25-06-2009 08:04:52 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

World’s Largest Solar Project to Transform Energy Domain

tradenews Guenter Gloser, deputy foreign minister of Germany in an interview to Reuters said the world’s largest solar project, the German-led consortium Desertec would create win-win environment for both Africa and Europe particularly to the Mediterranean Union states. The $554bn project is expected to transmit power from the Northern African Sahara region to Europe but will also fulfil the energy needs of the producing nations including Morocco, Algeria and Egypt.

The European initiative has to be envisaged of its strong ambition to counter climate change goals such as, the reduction of CO2 emissions not only for Europe but also for other parts of the world. The new initiative is expected to provide 15 percent of the energy needs of Europe in a decade from the time it starts producing energy, and is likely to act as an alternative energy option to the Russian supplies which currently top the European needs.

The new concept of generating and transmitting of solar power called Desertec was developed by a network of scientists and politicians of the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC). The founding meeting of the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) will be held on July 13, 2009 by invitation from Munich Re and the Desertec Foundation. The major objective of DII would be to provide clean, safe and cost effective energy to the global needs.

Gloser stated the Desertec solar energy plants could produce 20 giga watts of concentrated solar power (CSP), equivalent to that of 20 large conventional power plants once it was fully operational. The Desertec project would be employing a technology that uses mirrors to harness the sun's rays to produce steam and drive turbines to produce electricity rather than an array of high-tech photovoltaic cells. The Desertec Foundation claims that in just 6 hours, deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes within a year.

According to German reinsurer Munich Re which is heading the Desertec consortium, the project involves about 20 firms including Siemens, Deutsche Bank, and energy companies like RWE and E.ON. The project would be largely funded through private investments, and the complete details on the companies and their stakes would be available only after the upcoming meeting.

By Jose Roy

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