Sahara joint venture set up
Twelve companies have formed a joint venture to carry out the objectives of the Desertec initiative, which aims to supply power to Europe from large-scale solar-thermal plants in North Africa.
London: A Munich-based joint venture company, Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), has been set up by a group of mainly German companies including solar- technology outfits, banks, utilities and engineering firms, along with the Desertec Foundation, the entity set up to promote the concept. DII says it aims to carry out an "accelerated implementation" of the Desertec concept, which has the long-term goal of meeting as much as 15% of Europe's electricity demand by 2050. A first shareholder meeting on 30 October appointed Paul van Son as the joint venture's chief executive. Van Son is a former managing director of Deutsche Essent and Holland's Econcern, and is chairman of the European Federation of Energy Traders, as well as chairman of the Energy4All Foundation, which is active in Africa.
"DII will primarily focus on the economic, technical and regulatory conditions that must be fulfilled for successful project implementation," says van Son. "Early reference projects will allow us to learn for further roll-out plans by the DII and other parties."
Van Son says that implementing the Desertec concept "implies intensive co-operation with many parties and cultures to create a sound basis for feasible investments into renewable-energy technologies and interconnected grids."
Desertec says the formation of DII is being supported by a wide variety of political and governmental institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in Europe.