Friday Focus: Has Desertec Had Its Day In The Sun?
By Ben Willis - 07 December 2012 - http://www.pv-tech.org/friday_focus/23391
On paper, it sounded like a good idea: harvest the abundant solar and wind resources found in sparsely populated desert areas, turn it into electricity and pipe it to more populated parts of the world.
In Europe the Desertec concept, as it was dubbed when it was officially launched in 2009, gained the strongest traction, spawning the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii), a consortium of companies working towards realising the vision in Europe and North Africa. The group’s plans were grand: develop mega-scale PV, CSP and wind plants in the desert countries of Middle East and North African (MENA), transport it to Europe via a new high voltage DC grid network and supply up to 15% of Europe’s electricity by 2050.
But now, three years on, a string of recent events has suggested the project is not going quite to plan.
The first signs of trouble came in October and early November, when within a few weeks of each other, the German electronics giants Siemens and Bosch announced their decision to quit the scheme.
Then the project suffered a further indignity, when the Spanish government failed to attend the signing of an agreement to build what was described as a ‘reference’ or pilot project for Desertec in Morocco, citing difficulties with securing subsidies for the scheme.
See the whole article at PV Tech: http://www.pv-tech.org/friday_focus/23391