The Desertec project should finally begin next year with three years ahead of the initial roadmap ... It is so Pharaonic and involves such large sums, while the economy continues to deteriorate, there was every reason to believe that it is, if not a fantasy, a sea serpent. "Too big to be true?" we’ve been asking ourselves back in April 2010 at a time when the project Desertec struggled to move up a single gear.
It must be said that it aims to provide power to the states of the Maghreb and to cover 15% of the energy needs of the Old Continent in 2050 - in addition to lead, ecologically, annual savings of 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, resulting in a real contribution to the fight against global warming. This project is going to be a huge challenge in addition to the huge investments put in it; 2 billion euros for the first phase only and 400 in total (holy cow!) Financial constraints as well as logistics in addition to political obstacles have not all been overcome until now, although Berlin and the Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME) have, among others, announced their official support to the project.
However, the deal is changing and, initially scheduled for 2015, the launch of Desertec should eventually happen next year, the media reported across the Rhine. The German consortium DII (Desertec Industrial Initiative) said last week that it’s the first site, in the Moroccan desert, to cover twelve square miles of solar panels for a production capacity estimated by 500 megawatts (MW), which is equal to the power of a half modern nuclear power plant (the total production must meet two gigawatts (GW) in 2020). This vast "field of mirrors" should allow putting boiling water and driving turbines that will provide power to the grid. Electricity should start flowing in 2014 at the earliest and 2016 at the latest.
Remember that the German utilities E. ON and RWE, Deutsche Bank and the reinsurer Munich Re gathered in DII, are all project stakeholders, as well as Saint-Gobain, Italian Enel and Terna and the Spanish group Red Electrica. The Swiss company Airlight Energy could join them.
Basma – Green Energy International Correspondent – 05/11/11