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African Sun for Europe

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 17, 2009

In the beginning, human hands were made to dig the ground for Gold, Oil and Diamond, and a little while later, these hands were transformed into something special – into being stretched out far, faraway – up SaharaSolarunto the Sun – the abundant Sun that threw long shadows on Africans for a long, long time.

Every year 630.000 terawatthours of unused Sunbeam-energy come down in the African Sahara, whereas, the whole of Europe consumes only 4000 terawatthours per year.

The vision as attractive as opalescent – one of the greatest projects ever, a project has the potential to become the next world-wonder.

A consortium of 20 German companies, including major energy and financial groups, is planning to invest €400bn in developing projects to supply solar powered electricity from North Africa to Europe. The companies including renewable giant RWE and energy major Siemens plus Deutsche bank and world’s biggest reinsurance group Munich Re will unveil the consortium in mid-July, according to a report by Sueddeutsche Zeitung.



The construction of huge solar power plants in the North African deserts will take ten years before they can supply their first power supply, the report adds.

The DESERTEC project is expected to be one of the largest private green initiatives ever. The German industrial group is pledging to put the required funds behind plans so far only proposed as scientifically feasible.

Solar power could be developed at several locations in Northern Africa, with the most important criterion being that plants be based in politically stable countries. The project is technically feasible.

The plants are likely to be thermal facilities which use solar power to driver steam turbines.

A first power station with a capacity of 2 gigawatts in Tunisia with power lines to Italy would take five years to build once it gets regulatory approval.

A possible long-term project could be a 100 gigawatt solar thermal power station in northern Africa and the Middle East. It could be finalized by 2050 with power lines connecting it to central Europe and would cost an estimated 400 billion euros ($555.8 billion), he said.

A solar power station with 100 gigawatt in western Europe — where the sun shines for fewer hours and far less intensely than in the Sahara — would be able to supply some 28 million homes or 15% of Europe’s power.

The Cologne-based German Aerospace Center, which researches power generation using renewable energy, estimates that North Africa could generate power to ship it to Europe as early as 2025.


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